wiki:Hirak Rajar Deshe

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Hirak Rajar Deshe

aka The Kingdom of Diamonds 1980 118’ col Bengali d/s/m Satyajit Ray pc West Bengal Govt c Soumendu Roy lp Soumitra Chatterjee, Utpal Dutt, Tapan Chatterjee, Robi Ghosh, Santosh Dutta, Promod Ganguly, Alpana Gupta, Robin Majumdar, Sunil Sarkar, Noni Ganguly, Ajoy Bannerjee, Kartick Chattopadhyay, Haridhan Mukherjee

Continuing the adventures of Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1968), Ray’s musical is at times a hard-hitting satire. The lead duo Goopy (T. Chatterjee) and Bagha (R. Ghosh) face up to the despotic king of Hirak (Dutt) who tries to brainwash his subjects with the help of a scientist (Dutta) and shuts down the only school in the kingdom, forcing the idealist schoolteacher Udayan (S. Chatterjee) to become a terrorist in hiding. Goopy and Bagha eventually plunder the diamond treasury, bribe the soldiers, rescue Udayan and defeat the king. The Emergency (1975-7) and Sanjay Gandhi’s fascist programmes are directly referenced in e.g. the scene where poor people are to be evicted so that tourists may not see them, while the king’s attempt to brainwash all his subjects by means of rhymed couplets inculcating good behaviour evokes the many official slogans launched at the time enjoining people to mind their own business, to ‘be Indian buy Indian’ and to follow the then prime minister’s Twenty-point Programme.