Bihar govt declares 'Manjhi - The Mountain Man' movie tax-free

The Bihar government today announced that no entertainment tax would be taken for the exhibition of the Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer movie "Manjhi - The Mountain Man" in theatres across the state.

'Manjhi - The Mountain Man'
'Manjhi - The Mountain Man'

Cabinet Coordination Department Principal Secretary Shishir Kumar Sinha said the decision was taken at the meeting of state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which observed that the movie was based on the inspiring life of Dashrath Manjhi popularly known as "Mountain Man".

"The cabinet said the movie is based on the life of real hero Manjhi, whose inspirational story tells that a person can do the biggest work with determination even when resources are scarce. It encourages the viewers to see human life in the right perspective and inspires them, as well as, the society," Sinha added.

The Siddiqui-starrer movie, directed by Ketan Mehta, is a biopic on Manjhi, a resident of Gehlaur village in Atri block of Gaya district of Bihar. It was released on July 17.

Manjhi was a poor labourer born in 1934 to a landless family of 'mahadalit' Musahars - the lowest of the low in Bihar's highly caste-ridden society.

His village was cut off from the rest of the world by a massive solid rock mountain and remained devoid of power, medical facilities, as well as, other amenities. People used to curse the remoteness of the village, but did nothing.

The poor landless labourer, who used to work on landlord's farms, was spurred to action when his wife Falguni Devi died in 1959 as she could not be taken to hospital in time.

For the next 22 years, Manjhi worked on the mountain with just a hammer and chisel in memory of his wife. People called him a lunatic, but he persevered and finally carved out a 360 feet long and 30 feet wide passage through it.

The feat shortened the travel distance between Atri and neighbouring Wazirganj blocks from 55 km to 15 km, opening up the village to the world.

Manjhi died in 2007 and was accorded a state funeral.

The Bihar chief minister proposed a 3-km metalled road leading to his village and a hospital named after him.

The determined labourer's story fascinated actor Aamir Khan and he traveled to Bihar and went to Manjhi's village. He met his (Manjhi's) son Bhagirath Manjhi and daughter-in-law Basanti Devi there.

Khan also dedicated the first episode of season 2 of TV show Satyamev Jayate in 2014 to Manjhi.

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