The film is set in post-independence India, where industrialization is slowly creeping in. The focus is on tongawallahs who earn their living transporting people on tongas (horse carts). Their livelihood is threatened when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town, which he subsidizes heavily with the sole intention of first driving the tongawallahs out of the town and then making profits.
Dilip Kumar plays one of the tongawallahs, who petitions the landlord over this injustice. Jeevan's character proposes a competition to decide which service is the best: The bus or the Tonga? It is decided that there will be a race between the vehicles. If the bus wins, the tongawallahs will not complain further. If the Tonga wins, the bus service will stop. This competition was a farce from the start since nobody could dream that a horse cart could beat a machine. Kumar, however, accepts the challenge to everybody's surprise. His logic is that they would be driven to starvation if the bus service continues. This race at least gives them an opportunity to try to do something.
The rest of the tongawallahs do not share his hope. They blame him for his foolishness. In the end, he is left alone with nobody's support except his sweetheart, played by Vyjayanthimala. As the movie unfolds, a hopeless situation begins to turn around because of the way the people come together. Mishap after mishap occurs, but nothing can deter the determined. The highlight of the film is definitely the heart-stopping final race where the underdog wins.
- Genre: Thriller
- Runtime: 173 Minutes
Naya Daur (Hindi: नया दौर, English: New Era) is a 1957 Indian drama film starring Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit and Jeevan. Originally filmed in black and white, the film was colourized and re-released on 3 August 2007.