Log Kya Kahenge

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Log Kya Kahenge
Log Kya Kahenge.jpg
Soundtrack cover to Log Kya Kahenge
Directed by B. R. Ishara
Produced by B. R. Ishara
Starring Shabana Azmi
Shatrughan Sinha
Sanjeev Kumar
Music by Kalyanji Anandji
Release date
  • 1 January 1983 (1983-01-01) (India)
Country India
Language Hindi

Log Kya Kahenge (What Will People Think)[1] is a 1983 Indian Bollywood film produced and directed by B. R. Ishara.[2] It stars Shabana Azmi, Shatrughan Sinha and Sanjeev Kumar in pivotal roles and also features Navin Nischol.[3][4] The title of the film, "Log Kya Kahenge", is documented as a common stigma facing women in Indian society who challenge pre-arranged marriages and are expected to behave in a certain manner. The film deals with themes of murder and adultery.


A young woman (Shabana Azmi) is forced into a pre-arranged marriage with a widower. She comes to detest her husband and his son and the life that has been enforced upon her. She begins an affair with another man. One day her stepson discovers her with the other man and she kills him to prevent him from telling her husband. Ultimately she also kills her husband as her mental health declines and she becomes insane.


Themes and reception[edit]

The name "Log Kya Kahenge" (What will People Think) stems from a common Indian yardstick and social stigma against women who may challenge social norms of marriage and other expected forms of behaviour, a "stress-inducing" expectation surrounding women and arranged marriages.[5][6][7][8] One author said "In our sheltered Indian middle class homes, for every woman there is an unconsciously used Indian yardstick called, 'log kya kahenge'."[9]

The film was not amongst the blockbusters of 1982/3 and neither is it regarded today as a classic of Hindi cinema, remaining largely forgotten. However, the film draws upon the concept of women and challenging society and is therefore remarkable for the social situation of the era. The film gained some notoriety for the scene in which Shabana Azmi throttles her husband's son to prevent him from informing her husband of her affair with another man, and shocked viewers in India. Shabana herself said light-heartedly of the scene, "I remember seeing that completely evil look on my face ... and I was shocked by it. Was I capable of such evil?"[10] The Hindustan Times cited the scene amongst Hindi cinema's best-known and best-loved mother-oriented "moments of magic on the screen".[11] The Women of South Asian Descent Collective highlights the theme of divine justice in the film, saying, "In Log Kya Kahenge, the heroine takes the ultimate step in asserting her right to choose her spouse: she murders the husband forced on her. Consequently, she is punished not only by the law of the land but by divine justice – she becomes insane."[12]


Music to the film was scored by Kalyanji Anandji, with playback singers Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar.[13]

# Title Singer(s)
1 "Tere Bina Main" Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
2 "Tu Hai Kahaan Teri Parchhaiya" Mohammed Rafi
3 "Mere Pyar Ki Nakami Ne Mujhe Kis Mood Pe Laake Chhod Diya" Anuradha Paudwal


  1. ^ Rai, Vinay (2005). Rethinking India: toward an Indo-US partnership concord: changing hearts & mindsets. RF Publications. p. 287. ISBN 978-81-902759-0-3. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "LKK Movie Overview". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Filmography: Navin Nischol". Hindustan Times via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 19 March 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Das, Gurcharan (1 November 2002). The elephant paradigm: India wrestles with change. Penguin Books. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-14-302910-6. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Singh, Sunny; Guha, Tapas (2000). Single in the city: the independent woman's handbook. Penguin Books. p. 23. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  7. ^ The non-fiction collection: twenty years of Penguin India. Penguin Books. 2007. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-14-310356-1. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Chaudhary, Nandita (2004). Listening to culture: constructing reality from everyday talk. Sage Publications. ISBN 978-0-7619-3200-0. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Women work and environment: studies in gender geography. Bangladesh Geographical Society and IGU Commission on Commercial Activity. 1998. p. 236. ISBN 978-984-716-000-9. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Jha, Subhash K (23 September 2004). "From Sati Savitri to the Slutty Savvy". Sify.com. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Where have the good old filmi mothers gone?". Hindustan Times via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 11 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Women of South Asian Descent Collective (Organization) (1993). Our feet walk the sky: women of the South Asian diaspora. Aunt Lute Books. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-879960-32-9. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  13. ^ Film world. T.M. Ramachandran. 1982. p. 258. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 

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