indian cinema heritage foundation

Bhangra (1959)

  • Release Date9/10/1959
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguagePunjabi
  • Run Time120 min
  • Length3758.49 meters
  • Number of Reels12 reels
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor Certificate NumberB-26129
  • Certificate Date24/09/1959
  • Shooting LocationPraksh and Ashok Studios, Bombay

Seth Kodeshah, a money lender of Shampur lends money to poor farmers and zamindars such that the young would grow old and the old would die before their debt could be cleared. One of his victims is a poor Jat named Bulaki.

Years ago, Bulaki’s father borrowed one hundred rupees from Seth Kodeshah, the interest on which has accrued to eleven hundred rupees in the present. To recover his money, Kodeshah sends his munshi Mehngamal to Rangpur. Mehngamal meets Banto while he is on his mission. The village belle, Banto severely beats the munshi, and he goes back to Kodeshah. Disappointed with his failure, Kodeshah delegates the task to his own son Sunder. Sunder runs into Banto as well, and when he asks where her house is, she misdirects him to the wrong house, where he is beaten up by a pahelwan. Somewhat guilt stricken, Banto looks after Sunder and nurses him to recovery. Sunder falls head over heels in love with Banto, distracted from his goal of recovering the money.

Meanwhile, Kodeshah dismisses Mehngamal, refusing to pay him his salary. Enraged, Mehngamal sneaks into his house, steals his jewelry, and goes straight to Rangpur. He is further confused when he sees Banto and Sunder blissfully in love, and gives the jewelry to Sunder, asking him to stay away from Banto. Sunder in his turn gives the jewelry to Bulaki to pay his debt, and accompanies him to his father. Banto is jubilant at this turn of events, and waits to meet Sunder at the Baisakhi Mela.

None of these tidings suit Kodeshah: he has already made arrangements for Sunder’s marriage to the daughter of a rich man named Seth Ralla Ram. He stops Sunder from leaving the house, and Bulaki is charged with stealing the jewelry. When he explains that Sunder had given him the ornaments, Sunder is arrested. Banto uses her wits to trick Mehngamal into confessing that he is the main culprit. Finally, Sunder is freed, and Kodeshah is convinced to agree to his marriage with Banto.