Stridently nationalistic melodrama with which Manoj Kumar launched a series casting himself as good hero Bharat, contrasting his son-of-the- soil simplicity with Westernised decadence (cf. Purab Aur Paschim, 1970). He tends to the family fields to pay for bad younger brother Puran’s (Chopra) education, but Puran spends it all in a dissolute life in the city. When the villain (Puri), who had killed their father, encourages enmity between the brothers, Bharat surrenders all his property and joins the Indian Army. The villain follows him into the war and tries to kill him, but he is rescued by the crippled soldier Malang Baba (Pran, attampting a change of screen image). Meanwhile Puran, who heads a nationwide network of smugglers and black marketeers, recants and helps the government to crack the gang. Bharat is saved in a medical operation performed by his girlfriend (Asha Parekh). Much of the strident rhetoric along with the peasant-and-soldier iconography (illustrating the Jai jawan jai kisan slogan) is in the context of India’s war with Pakistan the previous year. The film’s nationalism is encapsulated in its theme song Mere desh ki dharti (sung by Mahendra Kapoor), and the other hit is Lata Mangeshkar’s Har khushi ho wahan.
Did you know?
Leading lady Asha Parekh had an image as a dancing heroine. Star and filmmaker Manoj Kumar wanted to change her image, since she was playing a doctor promoting planned parenthood, so he gave her only two dance moves in the entire film. Read More