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1971 136’ b&w Tamil d/s Cho Ramaswamy pc Prestige Prod. lyr Vali m M.S. Vishwanathan lp Cho Ramaswamy, Sukumari, Ambi

Best-known satirical film, adapted from his own play, by Ramaswamy, now better known as a civil liberties activist and editor of the anti- DMK journal Tughlaq. The graves of two historical figures are unearthed by the commoner Rangachari (Ambi): Ibn Batuta, a mid-14th C. African Arab who travelled through India and wrote a travelogue, and Mohammed- bin-Tughlaq, a 14th C. king of the Tughlaq dynasty who sought to shift his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad trying to consolidate an all-India empire. To Rangachari’s amazement, the two men are still alive. He brings them to Madras where Tughlaq wins the mid-term elections, eventually becoming Prime Minister. Seduced by power, he breaks his promise to Ibn Batuta and refuses to reveal his true identity. When Ibn Batuta threatens to expose both Tughlaq and himself as cheats impersonating politicians, Tughlaq has Ibn Batuta murdered. As a critique of the DMK (and of its leading politicians), the party tried to get the film banned by the Information & Broadcasting ministry. It was remade the following year by B.V. Prasad in Telugu.