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Showing posts from May, 2014

Dharmputra (1961)

Originally written for EPW Blog

B R Chopra's Dharmputra (1961) was the second film directed by Yash Raj. It was based on a novel by Acharya Chatursen Shastry (who died in 1960). The screen adaptation was by Akhtar-Ul-Iman. The story is set in Delhi during the time of partition. Although the film is often described as story of a Muslim child who is adopted by a Hindu family and grows up to be a Hindu fanatic, the film is in fact about two religious families and their response to religious fanaticism - a response based on their interpretation of religion, a response steeped in a mishmash “Hindu Humanism” and “Nehruvian Humanism”. The usual: Humanity is the real religion, all religions are equal, so on and so forth.

Husn Bano, daughter of Nawab Badruddin, was in love with commoner Javed who was her tutor. Of course, she gets pregnant. Nawab, although a progressive man, was worried about his status and didn't allow the two to get married. He sought help of Dr Amrit Rai, son of fam…