Agraharathil Kazhuthai - 1977
John's second film, Agraharathil Kazhuthai made in Tamil, is a hard hitting satire on the brahminical bigotry and superstition, where a donkey becomes the central character.
A donkey strays into a village dominated by the upper cast Brahmins. Prof Narayana Swamy decides to keep it at his house. He appoints a mute girl to look after the donkey. The entire village turns against the donkey and his caretaker. When the girl's stillborn baby is deposited outside a temple, the donkey is blamed and is killed.
After the death of the donkey some miracles start happening in the village. People start believing that it is the donkey that brought about all the miracles and starts worshipping the dead body of the donkey. The villagers give a ritual funeral to the donkey by burning it. In a symbolic end, fire spreads and engulfs the entire village. Only the professor and the girl survive.
Even though this film won a National award, Doordarshan was forced to cancel a scheduled a TV screening and the Tamil press ignored the film as the Brahmin bigots tried to have the film banned.
Direction & Co-Screenplay: John Abraham