Directed by Shyam Benegal
Produced by Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.
Written by Verghese Kurien & Shyam Benegal (story)
Vijay Tendulkar (screenplay)
Kaifi Azmi (dialogue)
Starring Smita Patil
Girish Karnad
Naseeruddin Shah
Amrish Puri
Music by Vanraj Bhatia
Cinematography Govind Nihalani
Editing by Bhanudas Divakar
Release date(s) 1976
Running time 134 min
Language Hindi

Manthan (Hindi: मन्थन, Urdu: منتھن) (The Churning) was a 1976 Hindi film made by Shyam Benegal, based on a story written jointly by Verghese Kurien (the Father of the White Revolution in India) and director Shyam Benegal. It is set amidst the backdrop of the White Revolution of India (Operation Flood) which started in 1970, ushering an era of plenty, from a measly amount of milk production and distribution. Aside from the great measurable success that this project was, it also demonstrated the power of "collective might".

The film went on to win the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Vijay Tendulkar, and was also Indian submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 1976.

The title song (whose lyrics go Mero gaam kathaparey) was sung by Preeti Sagar. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for that year. The song was later used as the soundtrack for the television commercial for Amul.[1]



The film traces a small set of poor farmers of Kheda district in Gujarat who had the vision and foresight to act in a way that was good for the society and not for the self alone. Under, leaders like local social worker Tribhovandas Patel, who took up the cause of farmer, lead to the formation of Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers' Union. Soon the pattern was repeated in each district of Gujarat, which in turn led to the formation of Amul, a daily cooperative in Anand, Gujarat in 1946, which is today, jointly owned by some 2.6 million milk producers in Gujarat, India.[2]

Eventually this led to the initiation of White Revolution of India in 1970, by creating a ‘Nationwide Milk Grid’, and setting up of ‘Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.(GCMMF) in 1973, whose 5, 00,000 members, jointly financed the film, by donating Rs. 2 each.[3][4] Upon its release, truckloads of farmers came to see 'their’ film, thus making it a box office success.[3][5]


The film traces the origins of the movement through its fictionalized narrative, based around rural empowerment, when a young veterinary surgeon, played by Girish Karnad, a character based on then, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) chief, the 33 year old Dr. Verghese Kurien,[6] who joined hands with local social worker, Tribhovandas Patel, which led to the setting up a local milk cooperative, in Anand, Gujarat.

In the film, Dr. Rao, comes to a village, to set up a dairy cooperative, which upsets not just the middlemen, who were hitherto exploiting the villagers, but also the age-old feudal structure of the village, soon an uprising is sparked among the local untouchables, which leads to an economic revolution as well.[7]


Awards and recognition

Further reading

  • Shyam Benegal's the Churning (Manthan): Screenplay, by, Vijay Tendulkar, Shyam Benegal, Samik Banerjee. Seagull Books, 1984. ISBN 0861320700.


  1. ^ The Amul Story Manthan - Mero gaam katha parey
  2. ^ The Amul Story - General Management Review
  3. ^ a b What makes Shyam special... The Hindu, 17 January 2003.
  4. ^ Shyam Benegal at South Asia Studies, University of California, Los Angeles(UCLA).
  5. ^ NDTV movies NDTV.
  6. ^ Manthan Review Channel 4.
  7. ^ Manthan (1976) – The Churning – Overview New York Times.

External links

Watch Online

Preceded by
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
Succeeded by


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