Apna Desh (1949 film)

Apna Desh (Our Country) is a 1949 Hindi social drama film set against the backdrop of Partition and directed by V. Shantaram for his Rajkamal Kalamandir banner.[1] The story was written by Diwan Sharar and Keshavrao Date. Sharar also wrote the screenplay and dialogue along with acting in the film. Music was by S. Purshottam and lyrics were by Diwan Sharar and Mirza Ghalib.[2] The cast included Pushpa Hans, Umesh Sharma, Sudha Apte, Chandrashekhar, Manmohan Krishna, Keshavrao Date, Krishna Goel, Diwan Sharar, Parshuram and Satish Vyas.[3]

Apna Desh
Apna Desh 1949.jpg
Directed byV. Shantaram
Produced byRajkamal Kalamandir
Written byDiwan Sharar
Screenplay byDiwan Sharar
Story byKeshavrao Date
Diwan Sharar
StarringPushpa Hans
Umesh Sharma
Manmohan Krishna
Music byS. Purushottam
CinematographyV. Avadhoot
Edited byBabu Marwad
Distributed byRajkamal Kalamandir
Release date
1949 (1949)
Running time
121 minutes

The film was made a year after Shantaram made Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), which was not a success at the box office. Apna Desh is the story of revenge by an abducted woman after the rejection she faces when she meets her family. Using the Partition as background, the film's theme focussed on black-marketing.[4]


Mohini a Hindu Punjabi girl, is living with her family when the Partition riots break out. In the melee while her family escape their home, which now becomes part of Pakistan, and go to India, she is kidnapped and raped by some Muslim rioters. After undergoing several harrowing experiences, Mohini manages to come to India and locate her family. Her family and society is unwilling to accept her in their midst. Determined to get revenge on the society that has boycotted her, she becomes a smuggler and gets into the black-marketing business. She sends ammunition to Pakistan smuggled in crates that have music instruments. Mohini soon becomes involved with another refugee, Satish. When Satish is implicated in the smuggling racket, Mohini admits her role in the business and surrenders to the police.


Review And ReceptionEdit

Shantaram made socially relevant films and in Apna Desh he dealt with the issues of abduction, rape and black-marketing during, and following Partition.[4] The film "predicted" problems like languages, black-marketing and corruption that India would face following the "newly acquired independepence".[5] In a searing indictment of the wrongdoers, the judge calls the black-marketeers "padhe-likhe daku, samaaj ke chor, azaadi ke lootere, desh ke dushman [educated thugs, thieves of society, looters of freedom, enemies of the state]", labelling them traitors or "desh ke gaddaar".[6]

The story caused a backlash of criticism from all the reputed papers and magazines and had to be eventually withdrawn from theatres.[7] Baburao Patel's Filmindia in the 1949 issues had readers writing in to ask for a ban on the film and calling it "Apna Trash" (Our Trash). The magazine referred to the fact that the film was passed by the censors due to Shantaram's initiation into the censor board by Morarji Desai, who was the then Home Minister to the Government of Bombay. The magazine also hinted at the story being given the finishing touch by Desai.[8] However, Apna Desh is cited as a film of "exceptional merit"[9] and one of Shantaram's successful films.[10]

Shantaram's other two socials completing his trilogy of socially relevant films during this phase were, Surang (1953) on quarry workers, and Teen Batti Char Rasta (1953) "advocating harmony" among the different states and religions of India.[11]

Telugu and Tamil versions of the film were also released, called Nam Naadu (1949).[12][13]


Hindi SongsEdit

The film's music composer was S. Purushottam. He had also sung songs for Hindi films like Billi (1949) and Meri Bhabhi (1948).[14] The lyrics were by Dewan Sharar and Mirza Ghalib and the background music was scored by Vasant Desai. The singers were Manmohan Krishna, Umesh Sharma, Pushpa Hans and Purushottam.[15]

# Title Singer Lyricist
1 "Apna Desh Hai Apna Desh" Manmohan Krishna Dewan Sharar
2 "Jai Hind Kaho Jai Hind Dekho Apne Tirange Mein" Umesh Sharma Sharar
3 "Tujhe Dil Ki Kasam Tohe Dil Ki" Pushpa Hans Sharar
4 "Bedard Zamaana Kya Jaane" Pushpa Hans Sharar
5 "Hua Karti Hai Ik Uljhan Si Dil Mein" Purushottam Sharar
6 "Dil Gawa Baithe Dil Lagaane Se" Purushottam Sharar
7 "Meri Khushiyon Ke Savere Ki Kabhi Shaam Na Ho" Pushpa Hans Sharar
8 "Dil-e-Naadan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai" Pushpa Hans Ghalib
9 "Koi Ummeed Bar Nahin Aati" Pushpa Hans Ghalib

Tamil SongsEdit

The film's music composer was G. Govindarajulu Naidu and the lyrics were by Rajagopla Iyer. The singers are M. L. Vasanthakumari, S. Rajam and Mayilsamy.

No. Song Singers Lyrics Length (m:ss)
1 "Mosam Pogadhe Nee" M. L. Vasanthakumari Rajagopla Iyer 03:06
2 "Enthan Mana Ullaasam" M. L. Vasanthakumari 03:06
3 "Enadhu Ennam Veene" M. L. Vasanthakumari
4 "Vedhanai Ilaa Logam" M. L. Vasanthakumari
5 "Maname Enna Pedhamai" M. L. Vasanthakumari
6 "Namadhu Naadu" Mayilsamy and corus
7 "Kaadhal Puyal Thanil Thurumbu Pol" S. Rajam


  1. ^ Kavita Daiya (4 February 2011). Violent Belongings: Partition, Gender, and National Culture in Postcolonial India. Temple University Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-1-59213-744-2. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Apna Desh (1945)". Hindi Geetmala. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Apna Desh 1949". Alan Goble. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b Bhagwan Das Garga (1996). So many cinemas: the motion picture in India. Eminence Designs. ISBN 978-81-900602-1-9. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  5. ^ Cine Blitz. Blitz Publications. 1990. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  6. ^ Kahlon, Sukhpreet. "'Everything is for sale in this wretched nation' – The prophetic words of V Shantaram's Apna Desh (1949)". Cinestaan.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Apna Desh (1949)". Muvyz, Inc. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  8. ^ Patel, Baburao (December 1949). "Apna Desh Review". Filmindia. 15 (12): 11. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  9. ^ Bimal Mukherjee; Sunil Kothari; Ananda Lal; Chidananda Das Gupta (1995). Rasa: Theatre and cinema. Anamika Kala Sangam. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  10. ^ South Asian Cinema. South Asian Cinema Foundation. 2001. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  11. ^ D. P. Mishra; India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Publications Division (1 September 2006). Great masters of Indian cinema: the Dadasaheb Phalke Award winners. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. ISBN 978-81-230-1361-9. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  12. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen; Professor of Critical Studies Paul Willemen (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Routledge. pp. 214–. ISBN 978-1-135-94318-9. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  13. ^ "NamNadu (1949)". Gomolo.com. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Purushottam". MySwar. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Apna Desh (1949)". MySwar. Retrieved 6 February 2015.

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