Cast And Crew
1975, Kolkata in the midst of labour unrest, strikes and lockouts. Jadunath, a labour leader in the Jethia Jute Mill, is sentenced to death for the murder of Jethia’s brother, the owner of the mill and another worker. It is a murder he did not commit. Though he is innocent, he realises that his time his up, so he bequeaths his eyes to a worker who has lost his sight. The first workman on the panel of those waiting for corneal transplants is Chhedilal. At the other end is Jethia, hungering for a corneal transplant for his son who has lost his sight in some ‘Naxalite’ fracas, according to the old man. Asking the super to flout rules of unconditional donation, he insists that the pair of corneas be given to his son. Though the medical superintendent bends under pressure from Jethia, Dr. Mukherjee, an opthalmologist known for his integrity and rigid commitment to rules of law, refuses to perform the corneal transplant on Jethia’s son’s eyes. His logic is that the gift is a ‘conditional’ gift where the donee is selected by the powers-that-be and is not a person whose name is listed on top of the donee list. He puts his foot down also because the case is not backed by any papers detailing the names of the donor or the donee. Another surgeon is organized in a hurry. Chhedilal’s peers can do little but watch helplessly because Dr. Mukherjee cannot help them in the changed circumstances. As Jethia drives back with the file containing donor’s data, he chances to look up the details. He is shocked to discover that the eyes belong to none other than Jadunath, the labour leader who led a massive strike of workers of his mill demanding the reinstatement of 54 workers who were retrenched without reason. Jadunath, according to Jethia, has also murdered his brother. How can he permit his son to see through the eyes of the man who killed his brother and caused irrepairable damage to his production and his public image? Instead of simply asking the surgeon not to go on with the transplant, he demands that the medical superintendent hand over the corneas to Jethia’s goons to be destroyed for good. As word spreads about the political manipulation behind the transplant, the jute mill workers, backed by Jadunath’s grieving wife, rise in rebellion. She steps forward with the blind Chhedilal. As she takes the first steps towards the police cordon, other workers start to join her in small groups growing larger and larger...
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