- 2 hr 14 min
Manthan is a 1980 Indian film directed by Shyam Benegal and produced by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). The movie revolves around the White Revolution that was initiated by Dr. Verghese Kurien, who founded the NDDB, and how it transformed the economic and social landscape of rural India. Girish Karnad plays the role of Dr. Rao, a veterinary surgeon who is called upon by a group of rural farmers to help them start a dairy cooperative. Smita Patil plays the role of Bindu, a progressive, educated young woman who becomes a volunteer in the dairy cooperative, while Naseeruddin Shah plays the role of Bhola, a simple, illiterate farmer who becomes the face of the cooperative. The story starts with the farmers of the village struggling to make ends meet due to the exploitation by the local milkman who buys their milk at a low price. Dr. Rao suggests that they start a dairy cooperative, which would be owned and managed by the farmers themselves. Initially, the idea is met with skepticism by the farmers who are wary of working together with each other. However, Dr. Rao manages to convince them to pool their resources and start the cooperative. The cooperative starts to thrive due to the support of Bindu and Bhola, who work tirelessly to convince more farmers to join the cooperative. They travel from village to village, holding meetings and explaining the benefits of the cooperative. Soon, the cooperative gains the support of most of the farmers in the area. However, the cooperative faces many challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure, the shortage of funds, and the opposition from the local milkman who sees the cooperative as a threat to his business. Dr. Rao manages to overcome these challenges with the help of the NDDB, which provides the cooperative with financial and technical assistance. As the cooperative grows, it also transforms the lives of the farmers. They are no longer at the mercy of the local milkman and have a steady source of income. They are also able to get access to modern equipment and technology, which leads to an increase in their milk production. The movie ends with a sense of hope and optimism for the future of rural India, as it shows how the dairy cooperative has not only transformed the economic landscape of the area but also the social landscape. The farmers now have a sense of pride and self-respect, and they are no longer willing to be exploited by the local milkman. Overall, Manthan is a thought-provoking movie that highlights the power of collective action and how it can transform the lives of people. The performances by Girish Karnad, Smita Patil, and Naseeruddin Shah are top-notch, and the direction by Shyam Benegal is outstanding. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of rural India or the White Revolution.