How Bollywood United India in 1947: From ‘Dard’ To ‘Samaj Ko Badal Dalo’

Remains of the historical times

If you may, ask your forefathers and they would tell you how portable screens and projectors did rounds of villages to screen Hindi movies in 1940s. On one side of the screen sat the womenfolk, mostly with children while a few men preferred to enjoy the cinema with their family.

Earlier, films were not just a medium for entertainment but also a channel through which social messages were sent across the masses. The world was not so digitally connected back then and the production team had to face numerous challenges starting from budget to ‘atmospheric’ pressure. Here’s a list we thought could take you on a vintage tour:


Wealthy guy Sooraj saves orphaned Jugnu just as she was about to jump off a cliff. This was Dilip Kumar’s first hit which gave birth to his claim on being the Tragedy King of Bollywood. Allah Rakhi Wasai aka Noor Jahan’s deathbed performance is memorable.

Do Bhai

Tip: Play from 0.33 sec.

The second most grossing Indian film of 1947 was popular for its songs Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya and Yaad Karoge, sung by Geeta Dutt. The story would seem quite predictable today where hearts transform only at the end of the story.

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The surprise musical hit had a relatively ordinary star cast with Suraiya playing second lead with Munawwar Sultana as the main heroine. The hero,Nusrat Kardar shifted to Pakistan when the nation was cut into two.

Mirza Sahiban

It is one among the nine tragic romances popular in Punjab region. The plot is a classical love story set in a town in the control of Sial tribe of Jats where a woman gave birth to a baby boy but died before she could breastfeed him. Then there was a doppelganger round the corner who survived the birth of her baby girl.

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Kishore Kumar played the lead and along with the brilliant team, made it the fifth highest grossing movie of that year. It told the love story of an inspector with daughter of a zamindaar.


A Muslim social melodrama was revolutionary at that time making it the sixth highest grossing Indian film of 1947. The dialogues and message of education and love it spread across social backgrounds was phenomenal.

Samaj Ko Badal Dalo

Directed by Vikram Bhatt’s grandfather, this is a tragic love story quite relatable to life of Kashmiris.

Do you want to add something to this compilation? Let us know in the comments below.

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