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1985 199’ col/scope Hindi d/s J.P. Dutta pc Habib and Faruq Nadiadwala dial O.P. Dutta lyr Gulzar c Ishwar Bidri m Laxmikant-Pyarelal lp Dharmendra, Reena Roy, Smita Patil, Om Shivpuri, Mazhar Khan, Bharat Kapoor, Anita Raj, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raza Murad, Mithun Chakraborty, Naseeruddin Shah

Violent ruralist melodrama about Rajput oppression in the desert of Rajasthan. The hero Ranjit Singh (Dharmendra), son of a Jat farmer, leads a popular rebellion against the corrupt zamindar (Shivpuri) and his three nephews. The hero is aided by a policeman (Kharbanda) whose son had been killed by the nephews, and an army officer from a Jat regiment (Chakraborty) who decides to use his military skills to defend his community from the rapacious Thakurs. On the side of the zamindar is his son-in-law, the police officer Sultan Singh (Shah). However, the cop’s wife Sumitra (Patil) is sympathetic to Ranjit Singh’s cause. The Jats’ objective is to capture and burn the account ledgers of the moneylending thakur community to free themselves from bonded labour. They eventually succeed though the hero dies, leaving his wife Moran (Reena Roy) and infant son to continue the struggle. Rajasthan’s arid desert landscape, its vultures and shots of the famous folk fair at Pushkar (a major tourist attraction) give the film both an exotic and a primitivist atmosphere. However, it went beyond poetic metaphor in several inflammatory scenes addressing the region’s charged communal situation. The scene where the hero’s mother rushes into the villain’s house to save her son without taking off her slippers, and is then humiliated by being forced to put the slippers on her head and walk out, led to riots in several small cities in Rajasthan.