indian cinema heritage foundation

Leader (1964)

  • GenreDrama
  • FormatColour
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time176 mins
  • Length5095.33 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberU-40982-MUM
  • Certificate Date10/03/964
  • Shooting LocationParamount Studios

Some are born leaders, some leaders are made and some have leadership thrust upon them. Vijay Khanna belongs to the third category; he never really wanted to become a leader but the circumstances involved him in a sensational murder case where the country’s future was inexorably linked with his own future.


He was an ordinary journalist, interested only in his paper’s circulation. In those days the country was in the grip of an election, with two camps fighting it out; on one side was ranged the party of Diwan Mahendranath who along with certain other vested interest had hatched a conspiracy to control the country and establish a strangehold on its economy by placing his puppets in elections everywhere. On the other side was Acharya, a venerable old leader who was wise to this capitalistic conspiracy and stood like a rock against them. He told people that in the election thye should give their votes only to those who were honest and whose integrity was above doubt.


Vijay Khanna fell in love with Sunita, a princess and one of Acharya’s disciples. She hated him but often hate is the first step in the ladder of love. Soon Vijay Sunita were desperately in love with each other and Vijay Khanna became aware of his own irresponsible and meaningless existence; if he was to deserve the hand of a noble girl like Sunita, he must be a better human being. With these thoughts he went to the Acharya but the Acharaya was in the meanwhile assassinated by Diwan Mahendranath’s gang. Vijay was caught on the spot, falsely implicated in the murder charge and with the mob fury against him. He escaped from there, a fugitive from law.


Sunita believed him to be innocent; and from place to place she went with him, hiding from the forces of law, knowing fully well that one day his innocence will be proved. But Vijay had not only to escape from the police but also from Diwan Mahendranath, who wanted to remove- the only eye-witness to the murder.


Finally, Vijay and Sunit go into the palace—her palace—her state- her father. This is the palace of Sunita’s father, the Maharaj of Shamgarh. There also come Diwan Mahendranath, his colleagues, their puppet candidate and the hired assasins, as guests. Vijay is caught. They almost succeed in getting him. But as his father and brother arrive there just in time and not only save him but also place in his hand the only proof of the real murderer’s guilt- a tape recorder with a record of their damanging conversation. Unfortunately, however, the tape recorder is soon outo f his reach and he loses the only proof of the murder’s guilt.


Now both the forces of law and the gangster close upon him and get him. He is their prisoner. Everything is going Diwan Mahendranath’s way. The villain, his associates and puppets are jubilant that now their success in elections is assured. But in an exciting show-down in the public, Vijay Khanna, at the risk of his life, just manages to expose them in front of the people and prove his innocence.


This is the story of a leader, who had to face many trials and tribulations before he could earn his title. It is also the story of a girl who stood by her man and gave him courage, when everything seemed to be lost.


(From the official press booklet)