In this series, I will share a few of my favourite and memorable scenes from the Movies. 


Satyakam is a 1969 Indian drama film directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, based on a Bengali novel of the same name by Narayan Sanyal. The film stars Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, and Ashok Kumar. The film was scored by Laxmikant Pyarelal. The name of the film is taken from the ancient Hindu saint Satyakama Jabala.

The story is about Satyapriya Acharya played by Dharmendra is brought up by his grandfather (Ashok Kumar) around the principles of truth and honesty. He becomes a Civil Engineer. His college mate  Naren (Sanjeev Kumar) makes him understand the compromising nature of the world but Satyapriya follows the tough path of his uncompromising ideals of truth and charts a different trajectory for his life and career. Satyapriya struggles professionally while Naren continues climbing the ladder of success.

Ranjana (Sharmila Tagore)  unable to protect herself from a rape by the prince, tries to kill herself. Satyapriya stops her from killing herself, marries her and then raises her illegitimate child as his own. Satyapriya doesn’t hide the truth about his marriage and the child from his grandfather who doesn’t accept Satyapriya’s new family. Satyapriya continues to stay on the path of the righteous despite its ill effect on him and his family.

When Satyapriya dies due to illness, his grandfather tells a great lie for the first time in his life regarding lighting the pyer. 


The memorable scene of the movie follows.

Grandfather tells the gathered people,  despite Satyapriya having a son, he himself would give the agni to the body as the son is very small. But the child (Sarika) forcefully says that his Dadaji is telling lies.  The child asserts that as he is not his father’s son but somebody else’s, his grandfather does not want him to light the pyre.

The grandfather is humbled by the fact that he who swore by fidelity to truth regardless of the consequences, could not practice it except in isolation of his Gurukula, where he was not being tested. Yet his granddaughter-in-law could share this issue with her child and the child could speak about it in public, even though it was uncomfortable and would translate into taunts and humiliation from rest of the world. The grandfather publicly acknowledges his failings that even though he has spent his whole life studying religious scriptures and philosophical books as well as practising many rituals, he still had much to learn about the nature of truth. He drinks water from the hands of the son and lets go of his prejudices. The film ends with him departing for home with Ranjana and her child.

This fantastic statement on life ends the movie.

This idealistic but painful movie raises questions yet admires the absolute truth. The performances by Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore and Sanjeev Kumar are superlative. The powerful dialogues written by Rajinder Singh Bedi earned him a truly deserving Filmfare award. The movie also bagged a National award.




Vijay Likhite








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