With Diler Jigar
(also 1931), this is the second silent film by the Pune-based Agarwal Film to have survived. More ambitious than the former, it is set in the Marwar region in 1818 and addresses the notorious 'Gola' system of slavery. The fantasy adventure, leavened with realistic scenes showing the slaves' working conditions, tells of Kumar Umedhsingh of Kadeempur (Daniel) who institutes a usurious tax mainly to obtain power over the beautiful peasant girl Kamalbala (Vatsala). however, she is protected by Kartarsingh of Amargarh, whom she once nursed to health and who has vowed to liberate all slaves. Kartarsingh is imprisoned but eventually defeats the villain and rescues the heroine. A (presumably Rajput) emperor arrives, censures the villain and lets the lovers marry. Extensive chase sequences on horseback and complicated plotting show that, by the end of the silent era, the Indian cinema had achieved considerable narrative dexterity. The surviving print at the NFAI is 9545 ft.
Suresh Chabria writes: ‘This costume and stunt adventure film is about the gola form of slavery prevailing in feudal Marwar (in Rajasthan) and a good king’s crusade against it with the help of the oppressed peasantry. Besides imposing ruinous taxation, the unquestioned assumption of the system was that the royals have complete rights over the womenfolk—a privilege exercised with nauseating frequency by the villainous king and his son.
Gulami Nu Patan lacks the verve, expert framing and coherent script and direction of Diler Jigar, its companion film made by Agarwal Film Co. in the same year. Even Daniel, memorable as Kalsen in the earlier film is here reduced to a mere caricature.’. From Suresh Chabria ed. Light of Asia: Indian Silent Cinema 1912-1934, New Delhi: Niyogi Books/Pune: National Film Archive of India, 2013, pg 52