The Churning (1976) (aka Manthan)

21 Feb

Directed by Shyam Benegal

The word manthan literally means deep contemplation, churning of facts, analysis aimed at solution or conclusion. The film manthan meaning the Churning) is a 1976 Hindi film made by Shyam Benegal, based on a story written jointly by Dr. Verghese Kurien (the Father of the White Revolution in India) and director Shyam Benegal. It is set amidst the backdrop of the White Revolution of India (Operation Flood) which started in 1970, ushering an era of plenty, from a measly amount of milk production and distribution. Aside from the great measurable success that this project was, it also demonstrated the power of “collective might”.

The film traces the origins of the movement through its fictionalized narrative, based around rural empowerment, when a young veterinary surgeon, played by Girish Karnad, a character based on then, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) chief, the 33 year old Dr. Verghese Kurien,[7] who joined hands with local social worker, Tribhovandas Patel, which led to the setting up a local milk cooperative, in Anand, Gujarat.

In the film, Dr. Rao, comes to a village, to set up a dairy cooperative, which upsets not just the middlemen, who were hitherto exploiting the villagers, but also the age-old feudal structure of the village, soon an uprising is sparked among the local untouchables, which leads to an economic revolution as well. (Wikipedia)



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