Shyam Benegal’s ‘Manthan’:Verghese Kurien and the Social Churning

On Milkman Verghese Kurien’s death anniversary, I reblog this post I wrote last year after his death on 9 September, 2012.


While Verghese Kurien will be remembered as India’s premier milkman, one who revolutionized milk cooperative movement at the moment when India was still consolidating itself as a nation, one mustn’t forget his collaboration with the ace filmmaker, Shyam Benegal, for the production of Manthan (1976), a tribute to the resilience and innovative spirit of the nonagenarian who recently passed away.

In a latter documentary produced by Amul, Mamuli Ram (1997), Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who was yet to make a name and fame in Bollywood, narrates the story of the First Milk Cooperative Society, set up in 1946, under the chairmanship of Tribhuvandas Patel at Hadgud village in the south of Anand city, Gujarat.

In a recent piece, Benegal narrated his encounter with the Amul brand while working with an advertising agency. In 1972-73, Benegal made a couple of documentary films for spreading the message of Operation Flood around the country…

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