indian cinema heritage foundation

Oru Indhiya Kanavu (1983)

  • Release Date30/09/1983
  • GenreSocial Reform
  • FormatColour
  • LanguageTamil
  • Run Time134 min
  • Length3866 meters
  • Number of Reels14
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number85526
  • Certificate Date05/07/1983

Anamika (Suhasini), a student from Kasthuriba College, Chennai, visits Javandhi hills to study the life of tribal people there. Through a tribal couple Gangamma (Lalitha) and Mannangatti, Anamika comes to know about how women are being abused and the villagers being exploited by Government officials and intermediaries. The president of the tribal village Nattan's (A.K. Veerasamy) ignorance leads to acceptance of these atrocities. Back in Chennai, Anamika wishes to do something for the tribal group. She is encouraged by her father U.K. Gangatharan or UKG (Vathiyar' Raman) and the editor of Porkkalam magazine Agni ('Poornam' Viswanathan) to write for the magazine and create large scale awareness about these atrocities. 

Anamika realizes that Vimal, her fiancé is indifferent to these issues and remains in a disturbed state thinking about the tribal villagers she met. Meanwhile, she gets a letter from Gangamma and Anamika replies assuring to return soon. Anamika passes her MA with a gold medal and is offered a good job which she refuses and convinces her father to accompany her to the hills to do something for the tribal people. In the process, she cancels her marriage plan with Vimal. 

On reaching Javandhi Hills, Anamika finds out that Gangamma died a few days back. She is shocked and slowly learns that the helpless girl has committed suicide after being raped by someone. As Anamika sets about enquiring into the tragedy, she is aided by the young Inspector of Police, Muthuvel (Rajiv) of the village. Anamika gets some evidence that leads her to the village guest house and watchman Govindasamy there confesses to her and the Police that Gangamma was raped by Dhanapal, son of Home Minister Malaiyappar. Anamika returns to Chennai, meets Agni and other journalists, and seeks their help. The media writes about it and the issue becomes big. The Chief Minister tells Malaiyappar to resign for his son's misdeeds. However, Malaiyappar refuses and threatens to expose the Chief Minister and the Chief Minister yields to it. Malaiyappar gets Muthuvel transferred and appoints a new Inspector Nallathambi. Govindasamy is killed by the goons sent by the Minister and his confession letter on Dhanapal vanishes. The case against Dhanapal becomes weak. For disturbing the peace of the region, Anamika and her father are charged with National Protection Act and the Police come in search of them and Anamika hides in a secret hut. 

Muthuvel resigns his job and joins Anamika in her struggle. Nallathambi arrests Anamika's father and Mannangatti on various charges. Mannangatti is killed in the jail when he refuses to oblige to police's demands. The Police and the goons sent by the Minister beat the villagers and threaten to kill them if they do not stop their agitation. Under pressure from media, the Government forms an inquiry committee. Anamika and Muthuvel learn about the developments and come to meet the villagers. The villagers plead with her to leave them as they are facing many losses due to her. Anamika gets upset and explains the purpose of her mission. When they refuse Muthuvel tells them that it is one life and they should live for the welfare of their children than living a life of slaves. This provokes the villagers and many tribal groups from various villages unite and protest and carry out rallies. It becomes a mass movement leading to state-wide protests. Minister Malaiyappar resigns and the Chief Minister orders Dhanapal to be arrested and the tribal group gets justice. The Government also forms various committees for the welfare of the tribal groups. Anamika's mission to bring justice to the tribal people succeeds. 

[from the book Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 to 2013 by G Dhananjayan, Blue Ocean Publishers, 2014]