Mother India – a 1957 film, directed by Mehboob Khan and starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, and Raaj Kumar, is a story about a woman Radha who in absence of her husband manages to raise her kids. Despite being poor and alone, she faces all the problems with utmost courage.
The name of the movie was selected to counter American author Katherine Mayo’s 1927 book Mother India, which denigrate Indian culture. Thus, this movie represented an Indian woman with high moral values and self integrity. This character was one of the strongest female protagonist of that time, and even now this film is talked about. Radha selflessly sacrificed everything for her family, but when it came on woman’s self-respect, she even fights against her own son. She in true sense was a mother to the society.
This film showed how woman leaves her home after marriage and makes her husband’s house her home in just few moments. She becomes a shield to her family. She cuts on her on daily meals to feed her children and at the time of difficulty she can do anything to protect them. Basically, this film incorporated all the roles which a woman plays in her life be it a daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, mother, mother-in-law, but most importantly a woman in true sense.
Apart from the amazing character played by Nargis (Radha), I thoroughly enjoyed the child artists delivering feelings and dialogues so effortlessly. Each and every character had it’s own impact to make this film remarkable.
Mother India is one of the classics and is regarded as one of the best films in Indian and world cinema.