Apna Desh (1949)
APNA DESH-1949 was a brilliant film made by V.Shantaram, famous for making offbeat, socially relevant films. He made this film which was distributed all over India and in Ceylon as well. Within a few days, the film came under severe criticism and there were cries of banning the film. Baburao Patel, with his acidic style dubbed this film as Anti-National. In several cities, the film shows had to be cancelled due to Mob troubles.
What was there in this film to invoke such reaction ? This was a story of a Punjabi Hindu woman-Mohini. During riots of partition, she is abducted and raped in Pakistan by Muslims. Her family escapes to India. After some time a devastated Mohini returns to India. Her family and the society refuse to accept her. She is insulted and thrown out. in vengeance of this rejection, she decides to become a smuggler. She sends clothes and arms to Pakistan in exchange of Gold and Money. She falls in love with another refugee, Satish. Finally, when the secret is revealed and Satish is arrested and accused of smuggling, Mohini comes out and surrenders. She is arrested. End of the film !
Most Indians felt that Indian women will never react in this way. They would rather commit suicide. The film was even called " Apna Trash". Almost every newspaper viz The Times, The Hindu,The patriot etc condemned the film as Anti national. 1949 was also the period when Pakistan had infiltrated the army and Tribesmen in Kashmir. This had already created an Anti-Pakistani feeling in the country. Under the barrage of opposition,the film was forced to be withdrawn from the Theatres, not because of any legal reasons, but because to commercial considerations.