This is a classic film from Mehboob Khan.A hard-hitting criticism of the exploitation of the starving and helpless masses of the poor by the small numbers of wealthy elite, it works beautifully as an allegory contrasting the purity of tribal life against the corruption of the city. No doubt it resonated for audiences at that time too as a smack upside the head for the government of the Raj! I was reminded of Abraham Eraly’s wonderful book about the Mughal rule in India as well: the excesses in which the emperors and their courts indulged at the expense of the vast majority of the Indian population in no small part contributed to their own downfall.
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