Ardh Satya

Ardh Satya, India, 19 August 1983

The film opens at a party where Anant Welankar (Om Puri), a police officer, meets Jyotsna Gokhale (Smita Patil), a lecturer in literature at a local college. Anant is a sub-inspector with Bombay police. They seem to hit it off despite some initial skirmishing about ideology, and the friendship blossoms into a relationship.

Anant brings diligence, enthusiasm and a definite idealism to his job. But the job is harsh. There is a deep nexus between the local mafia, the cops and the (corrupt) politicians. Honest himself, Anant falls among the lower rungs of the police hierarchy and has very limited scope of authority on the state of affairs in his area.

When Anant arrests three common thugs, he is asked to meet with their boss, Rama Shetty (Sadashiv Amrapurkar), a don in the local mafia. Anant refuses all of Rama Shetty's attempts to get his men out or to entice Anant to join him. Shetty decides to watch over Anant.

Some time thereafter, a meek fellow from a local slum lodges a complaint about some ruffians who harass his wife. Anant finds them, locks them up, and administers a severe beating. As a fallout, the local MLA asks for Anant to be suspended.

  • Genre: Thriller
  • Runtime: 130 Minutes
  • Director: Govind Nihalani
  • Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, Filmfare Award for Best Film,


Ardh Satya (Hindi: अर्ध सत्य; English: Half Truth) is a 1983 film directed by Govind Nihalani, his second offering after another angst-ridden movie Aakrosh (1980). The screenplay of both movies was by Vijay Tendulkar, the noted Marathi playwright; this one was based on the short story, 'Surya', by S.D.Panvalkar, and featured dialogues by Vasant Dev.

In this acclaimed cop-drama, the protagonist, played by Om Puri, is a policeman struggling with the evils around him and with his own frailties. The film also stars Amrish Puri, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, and Sadashiv Amrapurkar, and features a theme poem by the Marathi writer Dilip Chitre.

Ardh Satya won many awards and went on to become a landmark film in Indian film history. It is still considered to be one of the best cop films made in India.