indian cinema heritage foundation

Jana Mana (People's Mind) (1981)

  • Release Date9/08/1981
  • LanguageKonkani
  • Length3354.09 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number82096 Chennai
  • Certificate Date11/07/1980

Jana Mana is a film that mirrors the mind of the common man. It highlights the social evils such as the dowry system, addiction to liquor, etc, Shobha is a bright college student, Shobha and Satish are rivals at an intercollegiate debate on the topic of dowry. For Satish, it is love at first sight with Shobha. He tries to win his love with the help of his domestic help, Jannu. Shobha’s friend Lalita also encourages Shobha to further her friendship with Satish. Satish rescues both Shobha and Lalita from the clutches of a lascivious professor of their college. Shobha now sees Satish in a new light and her shyness vanishes and their friendship blossoms into love. But Shobha soon finds out she is pregnant and both of them are at their wits’ ends. They decide on civil marriage. But Shobha is a minor and they cannot be united into wedlock. Shobha confides in her parents and they decide to approach Satish’s father- the wealthy man of the community for his consent to the marriage. Satish’s father is shocked at the proposal. What about his family honour and prestige? After Shobha’s family’s pleading, he finally agrees on the condition that a sum of Rs 50,000/- is to be provided as dowry. Shobha’s dazed parents start collecting money for the dowry by distress-selling their meager valuables and borrowing from their friends and well-wishers. The marriage is finally solemnized. For Shobha, married life becomes a nightmare. She is illtreated by her father-in-law. Satish also takes to drinking heavily and in a drunken stupor falls to his death from the top storey of a hotel. Shobha faces her husband’s death bravely. But she is driven out of the house by the father-in-law and sister-in-law since they think that she is the harbinger of misfortune in their house. Shobha goes to her parent’s house but their doors are closed on her. Even her friend Lalita shuns her.  Out of desperation, she tries to commit suicide. But luck has it differently! She is rescued by John, the father-in-law’s driver. John and Jannu provide shelter to her. Shobha delivers a still-born child. Is there no end to Shobha’s miseries? John and Jannu are shocked at the cruel hand of Fate and blame her rich father-in-law for her miserable plight. In a fit of anger, they burn down her father-in-law’s palatial house symbolizing the burning of all the evils of the society.