Watch: Why Did 5 Lakh Gujarati Farmers Crowdfund a Movie in 1976?

Manthan movie

Manthan, the national award-winning feature film directed by Shyam Benegal, narrates the story of the empowered milk cooperatives in Gujarat and the origin of the White Revolution.

Remember the iconic song from the Amul ad that went, “Mero gaam kaatha parey…

The song that brings instant nostalgia was originally part of a film named ‘Manthan’ (1976). It was one of the largest crowdfunded movies financed entirely by the dairy farmers of Gujarat.

A classic directed by Shyam Benegal and written by renowned playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Manthan talks about the White Revolution that originated in rural Gujarat which resulted in the formation of India’s homegrown dairy brand — Amul.

It was Dr Verghese Kurien, the father of the White Revolution, who approached Benegal to make a film to tell the story of the empowered milk cooperatives of Gujarat.

When Benegal quoted around Rs 10 to 12 lakh for making the movie, Dr Kurian requested the dairy farmers if they can accept Rs 6 instead of Rs 8 for each packet of milk. Thus around 5 lakh farmers contributed Rs 2 each, thereby producing a feature film narrating their own story.

So here’s how Manthan was made, which went on to win a National award in 1977: