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Kranti Veera: (The Brave Man of Revolution) the Kannada Cinema (1972): A Cinematic Representation of Transition from Monarchy to Democracy

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Kranti Veera (The Brave Man of Revolution) the Kannada Cinema (1972):): A Cinematic Representation of Transition from Monarchy to Democracy

Kranti Veera is a Kannada movie whose story is written by R. Rangarajan. The screenplay of the movie was created by K.V. Shrinivasan and it was directed by R. Ramamurthy. The movie was released in 1972Kranti_Veera.

The Narrative of the film: The film begins with Vijay (Dr. Rajkumar, a famous matinee idol in Karnataka), one of the revolutionaries who is riding a horse in a desolate place, singing a song. His song moralises that nothing wrong will happen to him as long as he breathes Kannada; that honesty is the best policy; that man should learn how to be human and he should not be devilish; that man should not be too ambitious and should never exploit others for his selfish motives. After the song, the scene shifts to a house in Indrapuri, a fictional place. Lakshman, a revolutionary and his father are killed by the police who are under the firm control of Marthanda (Dinesh), the bad Diwan. The father, before dying, takes a promise from Tara, his daughter (Jayanti) that she should join the revolutionary group and avenge his death to end Marthanda’s despotism. Marthanda continues to suppress and exploit the common people unabatedly in order to quell the revolutionaries. Many common people are suspected of rebellion and are killed by his soldiers in the process. Revolutionaries, in reaction to Marthanda’s violence, increase their activities to spread their ideas of ‘end to atrocities’ and fight for people’s governance. They demand freedom from the exploits of Marthanda. They urge the establishment of Praja Rajya and peace in the land. They insist the king to remove Marthanda from his post. Most of the time, these revolutionaries are underground. They loot the treasure of the palace and help the poor which reminds us of adventures of Robin Hood. In one of such attempts to loot the palace under the supervision of Tara and Madhav (Rajesh), an accomplice, the revolutionaries are virtually outwitted by the soldiers of Marthanda. But the timely arrival of Vijay saves the life of the revolutionaries and the treasure worth lakhs of rupees. This scene reveals that Vijay is one of the members of the revolutionary group for a long time. In course of time, love blossoms between Vijay and Tara which is disliked by Madhav as he suspects Vijay as a mole. Once, Vijay and Madhav are found in duel over the former’s “surreptitious” activities. But they are stopped by Tara. Tara advises Madhav to think judiciously before suspecting Vijay. Meanwhile some anonymous people try to kill the king. Marthanda suspects that the revolutionaries are behind such plots and seeks more power for himself to suppress them. On the permission of the king, he announces a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 for those who catch the revolutionaries either alive or dead. In addition to this, the soldiers of Marthanda spread wrong messages about the revolutionaries and urge the people not to heed to their voice. To counter this, the revolutionaries employ folk songs and Hari Kathe to enlighten the people about autocracy of Marthanda. Vijay, Tara and Madhav go from one place to another disseminating their ideals. Vijay gives a long Hari Kathe (folk narrative form) to illustrate atrocities of power and authority, indirectly castigating Marthanda, and necessity of people’s rule. Amidst this crisis and conflict, the cousin (Dwarakish) of Marthanda and also a comedian in the film keeps leaking out the palace secrets to his beloved who happens to be a maid servant in the palace and a secret member of the revolutionary group. Once Arjun, a good Diwan in the palace, is sent by the king to invite John Dunns, the diplomat of foreign affairs, to come to Indrapuri and solve political crisis in the state. Arjun is arrested by the revolutionaries on the way before an attempt is made to kill him by the spies of Marthanda. When the leader of the revolutionaries, Gangadhar, decides to kill Arjun as he is the emissary of the palace, he is prevented by Vijay. This shocks the other revolutionaries whose suspicion about him intensifies. Insisted by them to reveal why he prevented Arjun’s killing, Vijay tells the truth about him. Vijay has been with the revolutionaries in disguise. His real identity is that he is the son of the king and his real name is Chandrakumar. He is a foreign-returned and English educated prince. Symbolically he represents a generational shift in monarchic state. Imbued with modern and liberal ideas, he represents freedom and equality for the people. Very soon, after his arrival from foreign country, the prince is disillusioned to see poverty, illiteracy, heavy taxation and suffering of the people. Inspired by the democratic and socialist ideals, the prince, unable to sustain himself in the palace due to the king’s prohibitions on his ideals, joins the revolutionary group to achieve the ideals of democracy and freedom. Despite these revelations an iota of suspicion still remains among the other revolutionaries, except Tara who is in love with Vijay. But, on insistence of Tara, they all decide to wait and watch. Ill-advised by Marthanda, the king decides to impose military rule in the kingdom to reign in the rebellion of the revolutionaries. Just before signing the declaration, the king is shot dead by the leader (Gangadhar) of the revolutionaries. Later Vijay succeeds his father. Assuming that Vijay is still inexperienced and young, Marthanda hatches a plan to assume supreme power by overtaking Vijay. On the other side, a revolt against the new king is designed by the revolutionaries. Marthanda’s plot is spoilt by Vijay who kills the former in a fight. Vijay, after assuming the office of the kingdom, tries to reach out to the revolutionaries and convince them about his plans of Praja Rajya and socialism. Before that happens, Tara, convinced by the fellow revolutionaries about Vijay’s betrayal, decides to kill Vijay. When she goes to the palace in disguise, she learns that Vijay has genuinely decided to abdicate the power and hand it over to the people. Tara realizes the truth about Vijay and regrets her suspicion about him. Witnessing the reunion of Vijay and Tara, Madhava attacks Vijay in the palace. A duel ensues. Vijay, ultimately, succeeds in convincing Madhav about his sacrifice and the declaration of freedom and Praja Rajya. Convinced of this, both Madhav and Tara praise Vijay as the real revolutionary man. The film ends with the establishment of people’s government and an end to monarchy.



Film Review of Kranti-Veera, a Kannada movie[edit]


Film Review of Kranti-Veera, a Kannada movie[edit]

This article discusses the cultural politics of a Kannada film 'Kranti Veera". It tries to relate the film to political happenings in princely India during colonial period.[edit]

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  1. Monarchy to Democracy: Kranti Veera as Cinematic Representation of Transition, AL-SHODHANA, Vol. VII, No. 1