Director: Ram Maheshwari; Writer: Ram Maheshwari; Producer: Pannalal Maheshwari; Cinematographer: D.K. Prabhakar; Editor: D.N. Pai; Cast: Prithviraj Kapoor, Vimi, Nishi, Som Dutt, Suresh, Veena, I.S. Johar, David Abraham, Gajanan Jagirdar, Jagdish Raj, Ramayan Tiwari
Summary: Epic fable with a major cultural impact on Punjabi Sikhs at home and abroad. It is also the last of the great Saint films, although not a biographical of Guru Nanak but a devotional movie addressing his teachings. Made for the 500th anniversary of the saint’s birth and apparently inspired by legends around the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the film tells of Gurmukh Singh (Kapoor) and his equally devout son Gurmeet (Dutt). Gurmukh treats his partner Prem Singh as a younger brother until a business dispute ends their relationship. Prem Singh’s wife Ratan Kaur (Nishi), influenced by the villain Shukha, wants the son Gurmeet to marry her niece Channi (Vimi); however, in an argument she accidentally blinds him. The blind Gurmeet, a repentant Ratan Kaur and Gurmeet’s fiancee Channi (dressed as a man) set out on a pilgrimage of atonement to all the Sikh shrines. The troubled relationship and unconsummated marriage between Gurmeet and Channi is eventually resolved at the Golden Temple where, in answer to Channi’s prayers, a miracle causes Gurmeet’s eyesight to return while destroying that of the original villain Shukha. The classic musical, extensively quoting from the basic Sikh text, the Granth Sahib, is the first big hit in post-Independence Punjabi cinema, badly hit by Partition and the loss of its Lahore base as well as by the Pakistan government’s decision (1953) to ban the import of Indian films. Much of its devotional fervour comes from the region’s troubled political history (references include a documentary opening showing the festival celebrating Nanak’s anniversary in the presence of Abdul Gaffar Khan and the Dalai Lama).