Former PM Indira Gandhi’s land reform — ’tiller is the owner’ inspires Darshan’s ‘Kaatera’

'Kaatera' has set a new record with its trailer clocking 14 million views in 24 hours soon after its release on YouTube.

ByShashiprasad S M

Published Dec 18, 2023 | 2:59 PMUpdatedDec 18, 2023 | 2:59 PM

kaatera darshan indira gandhi

Challenging Star Darshan’s Kaatera, set in 1974, is inspired by the landmark land reforms introduced by former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

The “Iron Lady of India” was the brain behind several land reforms, especially the historic law — “tiller is the owner of the land” enacted in Karnataka by former Chief Minister D Devaraj Urs.

The law in Karnataka and other parts of the country came into force in response to the exploitation faced by labourers and land tillers in the 1970s and 80s. The law eventually led to transformative shifts in land ownership in Karnataka.

Addressing the trailer launch event of Kaatera in Hubballi on Saturday,16 December, Darshan explained, “Kaatera is a different kind of a movie. What is shown in the trailer is what the movie is all about for 2 hours and 15 minutes.”

He added, “The film is based on a real incident during the period of Indira Gandhi as the prime minister. It talks about several bitter incidents following the law ‘tiller is the owner’ enacted during Indira Gandhi’s period.”

However, Darshan clarified that he did not mean that Kaatera won’t have any heroism or other commercial elements. Along with talking about real incidents, the Kannada film is blended well with a good amount of commercial aspects.

“The incident Kaatera highlights occurred three years before my birth. Several bones were found in a well and the identity of the victims is still unknown to this date. This is just a gist about the film,” the actor said.

Related: Darshan takes an indirect dig at non-Kannada movies releasing around his ‘Kaatera’


A poster of the film Bhoodana

A poster of the film ‘Bhoodana’. (Supplied)

Bhoodana, a Kannada film released in 1962 with several specialities, was inspired by Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s “Bhoodan movement”.

The Bhoodan movement, also called the Bloodless Revolution, was a voluntary land reform initiative in 1951 spearheaded by Gandhian Vinoba Bhave in Pochampally village.

It aimed at encouraging affluent landowners to willingly donate a portion of their land to those without land.

The Kannada film Bhoodana, written and directed by GV Iyer features the three Kumars — Dr Rajkumar, Uday Kumar, and Kalyan Kumar. Indeed, it was the only film where all three Kumars of the Kannada film industry acted together in full-fledged roles.

In a rarity, Dr Rajkumar played the role of a father and actor  Leelavathi as his daughter.

Bhoodana is also inspired by the Kannada novel “Chomana Dudi”, penned by Dr Shivaram Karanth.

Siddaramaiah releases trailer

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah released the trailer of Kaatera on Saturday, 16 December in Hubballi. He wished Darshan and the Kaatera team a success.

Later, Pralhad Joshi, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, heaped praises on Darshan while revealing that he was a big fan of his film Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (2012).

Directed by Tharun Sudhir, Kaatera is produced by Rockline Venkatesh. It will hit the screens on 29 December.

Aradhana Ram, the daughter of Malashree and producer late Ramu, is debuting as a  female lead in the flick.

Vinod Alva, Jagapathi Babu, Avinash, Padma Vasanthi, Kumar Govind, Biradar, and Shruthi are the other prominent actors.

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