Monday, April 6, 2009

Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai created a trend of dacoit-oriented films.

Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai created a trend of dacoit-oriented films.

Raj Kapoor’s film Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai created a trend in bollywood films to make movies on the subject related to dacoits. Radhu Karmakar the famous cameraman of Raj Kapoor directed the film while Raj Kapoor produced it in the early 60s.

Just like any other film of Raj Kapoor, his character Raju was full of innocence. He helped the leader of the dacoits of Central India (father of Padmini), who was shot by the Police. Raj Kapoor gave him food and water, and Pran with his men brought both Raj Kapoor and their leader back to their area. Most part of the film was shot at Bheraghat in Jabalpur near Narmada falls.

Raj Kapoor was initially convinced by Padmini that the dacoits rob the money from the dishonest moneylenders and distribute it to the poor people. Raj Kapoor agreed to help the dacoits on that count. But when he went with the dacoits to a marriage party and saw that most of the members of the party were killed by the dacoits, he went and reported the entire matter before Raj Mehra, the police officer and told him that he would convince the dacoits to surrender before the police. But he also asked Raj Mehra to award least amount of punishment to the dacoits. All the dacoits were convinced by Raj Kapoor at the end of the film.

The biggest asset of the film lied in the powerful music of Shankar Jaikishan. In this film SJ used mainly folk tunes with powerful orchestration. Most of the leading singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, etc, were used. The music was superhit with successful songs like “kya hua”, “o maine pyar kiya”, “hoton pe sachai rehti hai”, “hum bhi hai, tum bhi ho”, “aa aab laut chale”, to name a few.

Padmini, the brilliant dancer previously had a glorious career opposite Shivaji Ganeshan in South Indian films. She almost gave her lifetime performance in the film Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai. Her dance performances were brilliant, innovative and unparallel. Pran also did extremely well in his character of the dacoit in the film. Nana Palsekar, Lalita Power and other character artists were also sublime in their respective roles.

Raj Kapoor won the film fare award for best actor for his performance in the film Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, while the film won a number of awards under other categories. The film also had lot of social message. The dishonest section of middlemen in the country who tortured the lower middle class compelled innocent people to turn into dacoits. In that context the film depicted the picture of Indian society in the late 50s and early 60s. From that time onwards a number of films were made on the life of dacoits. Significant among them include Sunil Dutt’s film Mujhe Jeene Do, Dilip Kumar’s Ganga Jumna, to name a few.

Raj Kapoor had always been a trend setter. Even in respect of films related to dacoits he created a trend which many directors had followed after that time. The film should be restored for those purposes.

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