A still from the film Dharti Ke Lal (1946)


Khwaja Ahmad Abbas Memorial Trust

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas Memorial Trust
New Delhi, India

Based on the Bengal famine of 1943, Dharti Ke Lal (1946) marks the debut of K.A. Abbas as a director. Written by Abbas and Bijon Bhattacharya, it was the first film to be produced by Indian People’s Theatre Association(IPTA) and remains a landmark in film history. The film had music by Ravi Shankar, and lyrics by Ali Sardar Jafri and Prem Dhawan. Dharti ke Lal was notable for its neo-realism and depiction of social themes, making it a huge influence for later films, especially Bimal Roy’s acclaimed Do Bigha Zamin (1953). Dharti Ke Lal also became the first Indian film to be widely distributed in the Soviet Union and developed the overseas market for Indian films.


  • Title: A still from the film Dharti Ke Lal (1946)
  • Date Created: 1946

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