Film historians regard the period from 1940-1960’s as the Golden age of Indian cinemas. Many of the acclaimed movies were produced during this era. We had films espousing social themes like Guru Dutt films 'Pyaasa and 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' and the Raj Kapoor films 'Awaara' and 'Shree 420'. Some of the epic films produced during this time include Mehboob Khan's 'Mother India' and K. Asif's 'Mughal-e-Azam'. If you have started wondering why Iam giving a recap of three decades old movies, here is the reasoning . I was going through the movie collection I have, when I stumbled upon the movie “Do Aankhen Barah Haath”. Very few movies in Indian history has the distinction of inspiring Hollywood films. “Do Aankhen Barah Haath” has that distinction of inspiring the Hollywood film The Dirty Dozen. It also has the distinction of being the first Indian film to win a Golden Globe Award.
Do Aankhen Barah Haath (Two Eyes & Twelve Hands,Hindi )is a 1957 Hindi film directed by the Indian film director V.Shantaram, who also starred in the film. It is considered one of the classics of Hindi cinema and is based on morals of Gandhian philosophy. The film was inspired by the story of an 'open-prison' experiment in the princely state of Oundh near Pune. In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. The film was later remade into the Telugu color film Maa Daivam (1976) starring NTR and Jayachitra and has been remade in Tamil film ‘Palandu Valga’ starring MGR.
My reasons for writing this article. Being a hardcore believer in innate human potential and transforming people,I feel “Do Aakhen Barah Haath” is an exemplary movie for showcasing transformational leadership and every future leader/manager has important learning in the movie. I wouldn’t recount the entire movie but provide a brief glimpse of the important scenes in the movie. A jail warden (Film principal protagonist) wants to rehabilitate six deadly prisoners. He takes these six notorious, surly murderers to a dilapidated country and makes them work hard with him on the farm. He aims to transform/rehabilitate them through hard work and kindly guidance. His senior Superindent comments that his task is impossible and that he can’t transform the criminals and eventually he would fail in his venture. Yet, he unflinchingly goes ahead with his plan and successfully rehabilitates them into good citizens.
As said before, significant learning for future managers/leaders are as follows:
1. You don’t need extra-ordinary people to do extra ordinary things. A group of ordinary but passionate people can do extra –ordinary work. We had a real life example shown by Shane Warne when he lead a group of unknown young cricketers to glory by winning the 20-20 IPL cup. So as Managers,just believe in this. All you need is a group of passionate people.,. Talent can always be groomed.
2. All along we hear about trust and faith between members in a team. The movie shows, how a leader/Manager must lead his team and set examples. In the movie, the warden has complete trust on the six prisoners and treats them as his equal. Over a period of time, the prisoners began to realize this and start to reciprocate on equal terms.
3. The movie is an excellent example of “Pygmalion effect”. (The Pygmalion effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people,the better they perform).When you start expecting people to do things in a particular way, if you are persistent enough in your belief, then people will eventually began to behave accordingly. This holds a great opportunity for Leaders/Managers. Belief in the capability of your team members and give them the autonomy to express themselves. They will deliver much beyond your expectations.
4. While working along with members on a project/work, it isn’t sufficient if the focus is just on the work. Iam not saying that one shouldn’t focus on the work, after all Work is the main reason for the existence of the team. What I mean to stress on is the fact that there has to be a bonding within the team members and equal focus on communication and helping. That will benefit the team in a myriad of ways.
5. Lastly, no matter what people around you say, as long as you have an idea and are passionate about it, go ahead and follow your dreams. You are bound to be successful if you are faithful to the idea. ;)
Hope the learning which I had shared has been helpful to you in someway. I would encourage everyone to certainly see this movie. The climax of the movie is outstanding and inspiring. Do share your thoughts after seeing the movie. The climax song “Aye maalik tere bande hum", sung by Lata Mangeshkar “ will surely touch your hearts. The link of the song...
Happy watching and learning :)