fifty years ago, JULY 29, 1972 Archives

Centenarian for film on census

Bombay, July 28: Perhaps no one in these days of box-office productions — for that matter, of “new wave” small budget films — will believe that any producer would be frantically looking for a person not less than one hundred years old and with no previous film experience to star as a Hero in his film. But this exactly was the task — and a tough one at that — that the Films Division of the Government of India set itself when the Census Board of India wanted a film to be made to mark the centenary of the Board this year. Always aiming at perfection, the Division decided that a mere centenarian will not fill that bill. The latest census has shown that there is no dearth of 100-year olds in the country. So the Division set about locating a centenarian who had figured in the first census held in 1872, a man or woman who also retains his or her faculties to enable the Division present more than just a visual flash-back on census operations over the years as well as on phrases of freedom struggle — this being the Silver Jubilee of Independence. The choice, resulting from a laborious process of enquiries and ploughing through of census archives, has fallen on Nallappa Reddy of Andhra Pradesh who was just a tiny tot of two at the time of the first census.  The efforts of the Division could be said to have been more than amply rewarded in that it has not only found a hero and a heroine but also a whole cast, if need be, of 31 constituting the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the Reddy’s.


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