indian cinema heritage foundation

Upkar (1967)

  • LanguageHindi

He was born of the Good Earth and he loved the soil which his forefathers had tilled before him. He was Bharat, the brother of Puran but his stepmother loved him the most because he was gentle and strong obedient and yet commanding the loyalty of the entire village educated and yet a hard-working farmer.

With his strong hands, he ploughed the fields and sent the money to his brother Puran so that Puran could get good education in the city. But Puran was already being enamoured by the glamour and glitter of the Big City and when he returned to the village in his vacations, he was already dreaming of a comfortable urban life. 

Kavita a lady doctor had come to work in the village for a family planning scheme. She belonged to a very modern city family but she loved the simple life and the simple people of the village particularly Bharat. 

Kavita and Bharat - the lady doctor and the rustic farmer - soon discovered in each other the answer to their hearts' desire for a lifelong companion. 

But Bharat's scheming uncle who had many years ago murdered his father and the village moneylender conspired together to drive a wedge between the two brothers. Puran suspected the honesty of his brother and demanded half share of their ancestral farms. Rather than divide the fields, Bharat gave all the fields to Puran and left the village. 

Puran too deserted the village and became a food-grain hoarder in the city. While Puran indulged in black marketeering and lived a comfortable existence Bharat joined the army donned a soldier's uniform and went to the border to fight the battle of land and homes. Before he went to the battlefront, Bharat got a few hours' leaves to attend the engagement ceremony of Kavita and Bharat but the party song was still echoeing in the air when Bharat was already at the front, in the deafening sound of bullet fire and exploding bombs. Bharat performed heroically on the battlefront, witnessed the behind-the-lines murder of Malang Baba the wise old cripple of the village by the villainous uncle and even though wounded himself, avenged Malang's death by killing the murderous assassin in a fight. 

In the meanwhile Puran became aware of the lies and evil schemes of the villainous moneylender and, hit by remorse and overwhelmed with shame, he surrendered himself to the police and disclosed the countrywide network of godowns where the hoarders and profiteers had stocked illegal foodgrain. All his evil associates were arrested instantaneously 

In the emergency operation tent, Kavita and the other doctors tried desperately to save the life of Bharat. 

His arms had been severely wounded and even in pain and anguish, he thought of his farms and who will tend the crop if he lost his hands? 

But now Puran had returned to the soil to the honourable profession of a farmer and when he saw Puranploughing the land through his tent door Bharat knew that there was no reason to despair. 

Besides Bharat stood the two women who loved him the most—his mother and his fianceeKavita—the one praying for his life, the other determined to save it. 

And as long as there were mothers so sweet and girls so noble as Kavita and brothers so strong as Puran, Bharat would live forever—forever.

The most beautiful part of the world to me is the earth to which you and I belong and that earth I have sprinkled on the screen in 'UPKAR'.

(From the official press booklet)