Major Telugu/Tamil hit musical and reformist rural melodrama often cited as the film which redefined the formula for commercial success in 50s Telugu cinema. The peasant hero Venu (Nageshwara Rao/Ganesh) takes on the oppressive might of the zamindar (Anjaneyulu/ Baliah) and succeeds, helped by a sympathetic police force, in redistributing the land to the peasants. The hero also marries a low-caste woman (Janaki) rejected by his parents. The film was apparently inspired by the Avadi Congress (1955) where Nehru called for a ‘socialist pattern of society in which the principle means of production are under social ownership’, a view replicated in the film’s dialogues and lyrics. The song Eruvaka sagaloi, picturised on Waheeda Rehman who thus became a star, was a megahit in Telugu and is regarded as signalling the advent of a new generation. According to V.A.K. Ranga Rao, the song’s tune had been used by C.R. Subburaman in Shri Lakshmamma Katha (1950), where the folk-singers Seeta and Ansuya claimed authorship, although it was probably adapted from a 20s HMV recording by their teacher Valluri Jagannatha Rao. When the M.G. Ramachandran hit Madurai Veeran (1956) used a similar tune, the producer was sued for plagiarism. The tune was later used for other South Indian lyrics and by S.D. Burman in Bambai Ka Babu (1960) for Asha Bhosle’s rendition of Dekhne mein bhola hai, dil ka salona.