indian cinema heritage foundation

Chaudhary Karnail Singh (1962)

  • Release Date7/09/1962
  • GenreAction, Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguagePunjabi
  • Run Time134 min
  • Length3914.85 meters
  • Number of Reels15 reels
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberU-36102-MUM
  • Certificate Date9/7/1962

In a village, a noble Sarpanch, Karnail Singh, is forced to choose sides between his son Buta, and a Muslim couple Shera and Naji, who want to get married amidst violent clashes between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims before the formation of Pakistan as well as deal with suspicious Indian Government officials. 

The film revolves around the noble idea of National integration, peace and harmony. It was all peace and happiness in the small town of Pratapgarh where Chaudhary Karnail Singh was the virtual head. The festivals were celebrated with religious fervor by all the communities. Kazi Fazal Din and Moolchand were his closet friends. Kazi Fazal Din’s daughter Naji was in love with Shera, an army man who was very gentle and obedient. Shera comes home on holiday and is smitten by Naji’s beauty. Both meet secretly. Despite opposition from his relatives, Fazal Din on the advice of Moolchand agrees to marry his daughter Naji to Shera. Naji and her friend Lajjo Moolchand’s niece were very happy. 

Shera and Futtu go to the city for shopping and on their way back, they learn that communal riots have flared up in the neighbouring villages and Pratapgarh was one of them. The big havelis of Chaudhary had been set on fire by the rioters. However, Shera and Futtu manage to reach Pratapgarh safely. As the riots spread, Shera and his mother along with other Muslims leave for Pakistan. Unfortunately, Fazal Din was stabbed to death by the hysterical mob. Chaudhary Karnail Singh promised Fazal Din to look after Naji as his own daughter and get her married to Shera at the appropriate time. Chaudhary Karnail Singh wanted to send Naji to Pakistan but he has no information about Shera. On the other side, Shera tried to contact Naji and Chaudhary Karnail Singh but all his correspondence was intercepted and destroyed by Boota. A desperate Shera then sends a telegram, which luckily lands in the hands of Chaudhary.     

Chaudhary Karnail Singh’s only son Boota Singh did not like his father’s benevolence. He had a row with his father, who in turn throws him out of the home. Boota Singh became furious and starts scheming to kidnap Naji on the night prior to her departure to Pakistan. Chaudhary Karnail Singh challenges the abductors of Naji and he fires at his only son Boota, who gets shot. Lajo rushes forward to save Boota and says she cannot see his dharma bhara (brother) being killed before her own eyes. She receives a bullet wound on her arm. Boota realizes his folly and apologizes to Lajo and his father.