indian cinema heritage foundation

Gopal Bhaiya (1948)

  • LanguageHindi
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(The theme of this story that has been adopted from an original short story written by Sister Nivedita, the renowned disciple of Swami Vivekanand. The story by Sister Nivedita is found in the text-books for the children used in the schools of Bombay Province.)
The goodness, the piety, the spiritual knowledge, the humility and religiosity of Gokuldas had won over the hearts of all village-people. The village-people loved him with all their heart. People of all caste and creed assembled in his daily gatherings, and listened to his religious speeches and songs with great regard and faith for him.
Only one man was against him and that man was Trilokinath. He was a sworn enemy of Gokuldas, but strange irony of Fate as it would seem, his very son, young Gordhana was a staunch follower of Gokuldas and one of the regular attendants of his daily gatherings.
Thus, Gokuldas and his wife passed their life happily. In course of time, they were favoured with a son, and they arranged a grand dinner in which all the village-people were invited.
Trilokinath who considered himself to be a very big Pandit got the opportunity of instigating people against him by alleging that Gokuldas did not hold any distinction between touchables and untouchables, ate with them and had turned into untouchable himself.
The village-panchayat was called at once to give a judgment on his doings-the Panchayat announced him as 'guilty' and sentenced him a big fine of some 'sonamohars'. Gokuldas pleaded himself 'not guilty' and refused to pay the fine. On this, the Panchyat outcasted him and went away in anger, banning the higher class village-people to take dinner at his house. Gokuldas fed the untouchables with the food prepared for the grand dinner and satisfied them. Gordhana also dined with them. Trilokinath got very furious at the fact and desired to punish the innocent boy by tying and hanging him with a rope, but the boy was cleverly saved from the harsh penalty by his mother.
Once it happened that Gordhana hid himself in Gokuldas's house out of the fear of his father, and in sheer outrage of burning vengeance, Trilokinath set fire to Gokuldas's house. Gokuldas lost his life in the effort to save Gordhana.
As a result, Gokuldas's wife Padma and his infant son became shelterless and without anybody to look after them. The untouchables gave them all possible help; and under their shelter and protection, Padma brought up her Gopal with whatever she could earn by hard labour.
When Gopal grew up, he was sent to school. Again, as the cruel Fate would have it, the same Trilokinath was his schoolmaster. The wicked man tortured the unfortunate boy. The boy went on bearing it patiently, taking it as the service of his teacher.
And.......On one ghastly night, when the poor boy was returning home late at night from his school, a great storm arose and he slipped off into a river and drowned away.
Oh ! ......... but who can understand the mysterious ways of God ! .... Whomever He wants to save, no power on earth can injure even the tip of the finger of that person.
Once when Gopal had complained to his mother that often he was filled with fear while crossing the forest, his mother had given him the key of calling his 'Brother' who was always there to help him.
Did that 'Brother'' - that Krishna Bhaiya came to help Gopal or not? .... what happened to Trilokinath? ..... The answers to all these questions, you will find on the screen.