digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Dharti Ke Lal
Directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas
Produced by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas,
IPTA Pictures
Written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas(Screenplay),
Bijon Bhattacharya (Screenplay),
Krishan Chander (Story)
Story by Krishan Chander
Starring Balraj Sahni
Tripti Mitra
Sombhu Mitra
Music by Ravi Shankar
Cinematography Jamnadas Kapadia
Release dates
Running time
125 mins
Country India
Language Hindi

Dharti Ke Lal (Children of the Earth in English) is a 1946 Hindi film and the first directorial venture of the noted film director Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (K. A. Abbas). It was jointly written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Bijon Bhattacharya, based on plays by Bijon Bhattacharya and the story 'Annadata' by Krishan Chander.

The film had lyrics by Ali Sardar Jafri, and Prem Dhawan.

In 1949, Dharti Ke Lal became the first Indian film to receive widespread distribution in the USSR.[1]


Dharti Ke Lal was critically acclaimed for its scathing view of notorious Bengal famine of 1943 in which over 1.5 million people died. It is considered an important political film as it gives a realistic portrayal of the changing social and economic climate during the World War II.

The film uses the plight of a single family caught in this famine, and tells the story of human devastation, and the loss of humanity during the struggle to survive.

During the Bengal famine of 1943, members of IPTA travelled all over India, performing plays and collecting funds for the survivors of the famine, which has destroyed a whole generation of farmer families in Bengal.[2] Thus Abbas was deeply influenced by the work of IPTA, and hence based his script upon two of IPTA plays, Nabanna (Harvest) and Jabanbandi by Bijon Bhattacharya, and the story Annadata by Krishan Chander. Even the cast of the film was mainly actors from IPTA.

The film marked, another chapter in the influential new wave in Indian cinema which focussed on socially relevant themes as in Neecha Nagar (1946), made by Chetan Anand, also scripted by Abbas, and which continued with Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin (1953).

It was the first and perhaps the only film produced by IPTA (Indian People's Theater Association) and remains one of the important Hindi films of that decade. The film marked the screen debut of Zohra Sehgal and also gave actor Balraj Sahni his first important on screen role.[3]

The New York Times called it "...a gritty realistic drama." [1]

It proved to be tremendously influential not only to future filmmakers who admired its neorealist-like qualities—but also to intellectuals of India's left-wing.[4]



  1. ^ Dharti Ke Lal Indian Express.
  2. ^ Indian arts
  3. ^ Balraj Sahani Rediff.com.
  4. ^ Dharti ke Lal Overview New York Times
  • Dictionary of Films (Berkeley: U. of CA Press, 1977), p. 84.
  • Vasudev and Lenglet, eds., Indian Cinema Super-bazaar (New Delhi: Vikas, 1978).
  • Shyamala A. Narayan, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 1 1976; vol. 11: pp. 82 – 94.
  • Amir Ullah Khan and Bibek Debroy, Indian Economic Transition through Bollywood Eyes.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharti_Ke_Lal — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

123 news items

The Wire

The Wire
Mon, 16 Nov 2015 12:28:56 -0800

dharti ke lal The task of “resurrecting” such a man's work required great effort, for although Abbas was highly prolific, with 74 books, 40 films (of which 23 were his own screenplays), 89 short stories and 3000 articles to his credit, very little of ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 11:39:45 -0800

The protagonist of the film was the director of films like Dharti Ke Lal and screenwriter of successful Raj Kapoor films such as Mera Naam Joker, Awara and Bobby. For many, he is best known as the man who gave Amitabh Bachchan his break in Saat ...

The Indian Express

The Indian Express
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 22:18:27 -0800

In 1946, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas made his directorial debut with Dharti Ke Lal, a film that went on to garner critical acclaim for its heart-rending portrayal of the Bengal famine. Written by Abbas and the late thespian Bijon Bhattacharya, and produced by ...

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Sat, 24 Oct 2015 09:53:49 -0700

Indian films have had a Russian audience since 1949, when Dharti Ke Lal became the first Indian film to be dubbed into Russian. The connection was made official in 1965 when socialist Russia, wary of Hollywood's capitalist influence, deemed that eight ...
Outlook India
Fri, 04 Dec 2015 04:21:58 -0800

KA. Abbas lives on every page of this weighty collection of pictures and writings. He permeates them with the warmth of his personality and the clarity of his prose, and engages the reader in much the manner of an uncle who loves telling stories. The ...


Fri, 14 Aug 2015 07:37:30 -0700

Two of its earliest plays, Nabanna and Jabanbandi by Bijon Bhattacharya, drove home the severity of nature's wrath and state fascism, and became the basis (alongside Krishan Chander's Annadata) of Abbas' uncompromising Dharti Ke Lal (1946), the only ...

India Today

India Today
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 01:03:45 -0700

Legendary actress and the Grand Old Lady of Bollywood, Zohra Sehgal, was born on April 27, 1912. Zohra Sehgal is a well-known actress and choreographer of the Indian cinema. She started her career as a dancer in Uday Shankar's dance company and ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 17:19:59 -0700

In 1945, Mr. Elamon did his first independent sound recording for Dharti Ke Lal . He got married to Rajeshwari and his father-in-law's friend Kunjukrishna Pillai introduced him toP. SubramaniamofMerryland Studios. He worked in Merryland for nearly 30 ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight