Mother India is a 1957 Hindi film epic that was written and directed by Mehboob Khan, Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, and Raaj Kumar. The film portrays good morals to the culture no matter the situation at which one is in. It calls for good morals that are widely brought out by the principal actor who is a poor mother of three sons. The film is generally based on the ethnic violence, during the 1947 partition, which is described to be intellectual rigour. Broadly, it also explains the blockbuster saga of an Indian peasant woman who has an innate and personal appeal typically on the Indian situation.
Radha is the mother of the village and has three sons. The film starts with her being asked to open a water canal. This indicates the times when he was newly married and the independence of India. Inequity in the society is shown when the loan rendered for the wedding between Radha and Shamu is being paid. The loan was to be paid by his mother who had borrowed it from a moneylender Sukhilala. The conditions of the loan are disputed, but the elders rule in favour of the moneylender to force a three-quarter pay of their crop as interest of the loan of 500 rupees (Mayo & Sinha, 2000).
Through the reinforcement of the village elders’ powers on Radha and Shamu to pay extra on what they had borrowed, it clearly shows the suppression on the less fortunate in society. Poverty remains the key element to the poor because as they work hard to get themselves off the poverty level they are still suppressed by those in power. I can see through the couple’s efforts to alleviate their poverty by planting crops and then later they are being harvested by the moneylender, that the poor are humiliated by those in power.
When Shamu loses both his hands in a farming accident and now cannot support the family, he opts to run away from the family. Mother India so shades into Mother Courage. She is determined to bring up her sons and so she works her fingers on what is left after they had given out their land to pay their loan. Mother India clearly shows the role played by most women in the present society due to unreliable husbands. The evil moneylender is always skulking around and is offering to take Radha as his wife. This explicitly shows how the women whose husbands have run away or have died are abused by the rich in the community. Although the moneylender’s efforts to obtain Radha as his wife persist, she holds to the upbringing of her two sons and so she resists the insult to her pride and chastity.
Nargis was trapped inside a raging fire, while Sunil Dutt jumps in and swiftly saves her from getting burnt by the fire, which was blazing and roaring through the house. The fire roared out of power and so left Nargis stranded not knowing what to do. Sunil Dutt quickly plunges inside a blanket and wrapped it to themselves so as to escape (Sinha, 2006). Luckily, they managed to get themselves out though Sunil was burnt. Through Sunil’s save of Nargis from the fire, they finally fall in love and they get married within the year. The action of Sunil to save Nargis from the blazing fire and finally gets to fall in love with her indicates that there is no good done that goes unrewarded.
Radha continues to work on the remaining piece of land with her two sons now a bit grown up. She gives birth to another child, but Sukhilala offers to help her alleviate her poverty in return of Radha marrying him, which she still turned down the offer. A storm then sweeps through the village and destroy the youngest child of Radha. She becomes more and more filled with all sorts of problems in raising her children but stands firm and proves a strong woman. Women should learn to be strong and work for their children though there may be any differences with their husbands.
Birju, one of Radha’s sons, vows to kill the moneylender and his daughter, who irritates him, but his mother ends up becoming a rebel committed to direct violent action. He suppresses people in the society through pestering of girls in the community and other evils. Radha takes the matter into her hands as his mother shoots him down. These indicate that no matter how close one is to somebody, in the course of the law there must be justice given to the victim.
The ending of the film is that tragic that the long suffering heroin is strained to kill one of her children to uphold the families’ respect. This yet becomes another big blow on Radha, but she chooses to get along with life. Though all these, Radha is determined once more that she can still make it.
The mother plays an important role in the society though all the difficulties she has undergone, she creates a platform to all other mothers with the same challenges. Her plight to the village is an inspiration to even her neighbours. The judgement made by the village elders is a clear indication of the kind of leadership the people are being ruled by. The film yet is a lesson to be learnt by many in present community since these are the same problems we encounter in our day in and day out lives.