Some called it August Kranti, others referred to it as Bhrashtachar Andolan. On celluloid Prakash Jha termed the movement by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare as Satyagraha. The movie by Prakash Jha starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor is set to release on August 23.
While Anna's movement brought some awareness among masses about raising their voices against corruption, there are numerous other movies in the past that have touched upon social issues in India. On 66th independence day we recall some revolutionary movies.
Amrit Manthan (1934): Human and animal sacrifice was prevalent at the time. The film is about the clash of a king Krantivarma and a priest. The king being a rationalist wants to ban the practice but is confronted by a priest who wants him killed.
Achoot Kanya (1936): Starring Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar in the main lead, the film addresses untouchability which was a burning issue of the time. The movie is the love story of a Dalit girl Kasturi played by Devika Rani who could not marry a Brahmin Pratap played by Ashok Kumar due to social pressures. The film was produced by Himanshu Rai.
Boot Polish (1954): A legendary movie directed by Prakash Arora and produced by Raj Kapoor addressed the issue of child labour. The film revolves around two orphans Belu (Baby Naaz) and Bhola (Ratan Kumar) who are forced into begging on streets by their aunt. A bootlegger named John Chacha (David Abraham) teaches them self-respect and to work for a living instead of begging.
Jaagte Raho (1956): Another Raj Kapoor production, the film shows how middle-class in India is caught in the web of corruption. A poor peasant (Raj Kapoor) from a village is looking for some work in the city. He accidentally enters an apartment building, whose residents take him for a thief. He runs from one flat to the other trying to escape his predicament. Along the way, he witnesses many shady undertakings in the flats where he hides.
Mother India (1957): The legendary film by Mehboob Khan tells the story of a poor village woman Radha who raises her sons on her own, when her husband leaves his family and village as he's unable to pay his debts. This film about woman empowerment was a strong contender for the Academy Award but lost to Federico Fellini's Nights of Cabiria by a single vote.
Anpadh (1962): Directed by Mohan Kumar the movie starred Mala Sinha, Balraj Sahni and Dharmendra. It highlights the importance of women education. It is a story of an uneducated woman whose marriage gets into trouble due to her inability to read and write.
Krantiveer (1994): An unemployed man takes law in his hands to fight for the justice of people around him. Needless to say that he faces resistance from all sectors - police, politicians and his own community.
Swades (2004): SRK plays Mohan, a project manager with NASA. After spending more than a decade in USA, he returns to his village. He not only adapts to his new life, he fights against poverty, caste discrimination, child marriage, illiteracy and child labour. The film is directed by Ashutosh Gowariker.
Rang De Basanti (2006): The film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, deals with the issue of corruption in Indian government. The story is about a British documentary filmmaker who is determined to make a film on Indian freedom fighters based on diary entries by her grandfather. A group of five young men agree to feature in the film. The spirit of the film awakens a fighter in them and they sacrifice their lives for the cause of corruption.
Peepli Live (2010): Produced by Aamir Khan and directed by Anusha Rizvi, it is a satire on farmer suicide. The movie starred Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Malaika Shenoy, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Naseeruddin Shah.