Achhut Kannya

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Achhut Kannya
Achhut Kannya.jpg
Directed by Franz Osten
Produced by Himanshu Rai
Written by Niranjan Pal
Starring Ashok Kumar
Devika Rani
Music by Saraswati Devi
J.S. Kashyap (lyrics)
Cinematography Josef Wirsching
Release dates
  • 1936 (1936)
Running time 135 Minutes 59 Seconds [1]
Country British Raj
Language Hindi

Achhut Kannya (Hindi: अछूत कन्या, Urdu: اچھوت کنیا, translation: Untouchable Maiden) is a 1936 Hindi film. Among the early super-hits in the Bombay film industry, the film deals with the social position of Dalit girls and is considered a reformist period-piece.

The film was one of several successful Bombay Talkies collaborations between Franz Osten, Niranjan Pal, Himanshu Rai, and their leading lady, Devika Rani. Music is by Saraswati Devi and lyrics by J.S. Kashyap.

The movie stars Ashok Kumar (cast after the original hero had eloped with the producer's wife and leading lady) and Devika Rani (the producer's wife who decided to come back) in the lead roles.


Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar in Achhoot Kanya

The circular story is told in flashback, in which eternal repetition is interrupted only by death in the form of a relentlessly linear railway engine. 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 central story is of the unhappy love affair between Kasturi (Devika Rani), the Harijan (Untouchable) daughter of the railway level-crossing guard Dukhia (Prasad), and Pratap (Kumar), the Brahmin son of the grocer Mohan (Pithawala). At first, rumour and mob violence are deployed to lethal effect in order to maintain a 'traditional', oppressive morality. Later, when the main protagonists are about to conform and marry selected partners, rumour and maliciousness again intervene to trigger renewed violence until the on-rushing train of fate stops the strife.


  • Devika Rani ... Kasturi
  • Ashok Kumar ... Pratap
  • P.F. Pithawala ... Mohan
  • Kamta Prasad ... Dukhia
  • Kishori Lal
  • Kusum Kumari
  • Pramila
  • Anwari
  • Ishrat


External links[edit]