Vintage film : Achhut Kanya (1936)

Achhut Kanya (Hindi: अछूत कन्या) is a 1936 Hindi film by Bombay Talkies. The film was one of several successful Bombay Talkies collaborations between Franz Osten, who was a German filmmaker, Niranjan Pal, Himanshu Rai, and their leading lady, Devika Rani. Ashok Kumar played the male lead. Music was by Saraswati Devi. Among the early super-hits in the Hindi film industry, the film dealt with the social position of low caste girls and the problems they faced.

The film opens at a railway crossing where a man is about to kill his wife when the narrative spins into the past via a song. The story is of the unhappy love affair between Kasturi (Devika Rani), the Harijan (untouchable) daughter of a railway crossing guard, and Pratap (Ashok Kumar), the Brahmin son of a grocer. At first, rumour and mob violence are deployed to lethal effect in order to maintain a traditional and oppressive morality. Later, when the main protagonists are about to marry, rumours and malicious methods are employed to trigger renewed violence until the on-rushing train of fate stops the strife.

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani – Khet Ki Muli :  Download

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani – Main Ban Ki Chidiya Banke :  Download

Ashok Kumar – Kise Karta Moorakh Pyar Pyar :  Download

Ashok Kumar – Peer Peer Kya Kahe Pyare :  Download

Devika Rani – Udi Hawa Mein Jati Hai :  Download

Mumtaz Ali & Sunita Devi – Chooriyan Laya Anmol :  Download

Saraswati Devi – Kit Gaye Ho Khewanhar :  Download

Kusum Kumari – Nadiya Dheere Baho, Hum Utrat Paar :  Download

P.S: Some visitors on this blog, particularly Mr Surjit Kohli and Mr Sanjay Jain have been large hearted and magnanimous enough in correcting me whenever I commit errors in naming the songs or the singers. Their support is a big help in carrying this blog deeper into the mist of Hindi film music of the old era. Thank you all.



  1. Sanjay Jain said,

    June 27, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Churi main laya anmol song is not by Ashok Kumar/Deviks Rani

    Most probably, male voice is that of Mumtaz Ali who also danced on this song

  2. indianraga said,

    June 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for the info. I will confirm from other sources and make the neccessary corrections. Thanks for visiting.

  3. The NRI said,

    August 11, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Interesting. We just ran a piece on Niranjan Pal.

    Niranjan Pal: Honouring A Forgotten Legend

    What amazes me is that so many people are completely unaware of a man who was central to the birth of early Indian cinema.

    The South Asian Film Foundation is commencing a project on the life of Niranjan Pal after receiving a grant. I am happy to put you in touch with the head of the project if you wanted to become involved in anyway.

    • Dilip Gupte said,

      June 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Thnx. I would like to be associated with this. I have been thinking to do some research work on Bombay Talkies. However, I shall work unconditionally.

  4. December 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I was very happy to listen all the songs.Thanks for this sight.I am an old fan of old films.I liked especially two songs:
    1.Mai banki chidiya…and 2.Udi hawame jati hai.

  5. Prabha said,

    May 13, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I love BAN KI CHIDIYA. Is there a way to watch this film. Why don’t these DVD companies released these old classics.

  6. virendra singh verma said,

    June 25, 2011 at 6:12 am

    am a practising architect at dehradun
    age 67

  7. April 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Achhut Kanya is now available on Youtube in great print thanks to youtube user – tommydan55

  8. Dilip Gupte said,

    June 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    My parents used to sing the songs of this film. This film was far ahead of its time. After hard work I could fetch VCD of this film but the second part was stuck and hence I am deprived of the end of the film. This film remains as my one of the most favourable films.

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