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(1939)

Plot Summary

  • A spirited contribution to the Independence movement, deploying Gandhian themes. Sambu Sastry (Sivan) is portrayed as the Gandhi of Tamil Nadu, sitting on a dais spinning with a charkha. The film tells of Sastry the Brahmin priest and his daughter Savitri (Subbulakshmi). It opens with Harijans waiting in front of a closed temple during a cyclone. Sastry is punished for sheltering them and he goes to Madras. The main plot focuses on daughter Savitri, married to the evil Sridharan (Mahadevan) who prefers to live in 'Western' luxury in Calcutta and mistreats his wife. Sastry, who sells his property to pay for the dowry, finds himself on the streets while his abandoned daughter, who returns to find her ancestral home gone, gives birth to a daughter Charu (Saroja) in a free hospital. She abandons her child at the feet of her father. He thereafter, together with the Harijan Nallan, embarks on Gandhian social uplift programmes including picketing liquor shops. Savitri becomes the wealthy Uma Rani, devoting herself to charity. In her new guise she rejects her husband who sues for the restoration of his 'marital rights'.

    - Written by Sujit R. Varma

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