Sharapanjara is a Kannada film released in the year 1971. It was directed by Puttanna Kanagal, who was known for his women-centric films. The film met with a huge box office success and it garnered immense popularity throughout Karnataka. The film was about a woman who suffers from hysteria and the reaction of her family and society towards her condition. The film effectively portrays the failure of the Indian society to understand what a mental illness is. The woman even after she recovers from the illness continues to be treated by the people around her as a mental patient. Gradually the woman traumatized by the reluctance of the people to accept her as a normal human, being loses her mind. The subject of the film was considered to be new to the popular media. Despite its unconventional subject the film succeeded in maintaining its popularity over time. The film was based on a novel by Triveni, who was a popular woman writer in Kannada. She was known for introducing the themes related to psychology into the mainstream fiction writing. Story – detailed ?
History – Mental Health – Bangalore – Mysore
The film is set in early 70s Mysore. Some of the time markers like family planning policy which is talked about in the film help to establish the film as a typical 70s story. The presence of ladies club, more number of women employees in an office etc, mark the change and shift that happened around the same period of time. Hence the film chooses to set itself in a so called modern city, Mysore and then chooses to discuss the central issue, that is, the mental illness. The presence of the story in such a set up involving educated modern society indicates the harsh reality where there were a little ways to make people understand what a mental illness is. History of mental asylam.
The Hindu article on NIMHANS throws some light on the development of mental asylum in the Mysore State. Even from the beginning Bangalore was the place...
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