The image of dumbness is the dominant presentation in the film "Godhuli" directed by Girish Karnad and B. V Karanth. The narrative centers around a modern agriculturist who brings home an American wife. The woman tries to understand the conservative family she lives with and the traditional village soceity. But, misunderstandings soon arise---one of these centers around the wife being a beef-eater--but most relate to the clash of values involved in the sharp differences of attitude between the tradition-bound villagers and modern, progressive agriculturist. These misunderstandings lead to a good deal of unpleasantness. The husband stands up for his wife against heavy odds. But suddenly the scales atr tipped against the couple when it is discovered that their new born child cannot digest his mother's milk. It turns out that the father had a similoar problem during infancy and the baby, like his father before him, will have to be fed on the fresh milk of the family cow. The only alternative to this is for the couple to shift to the city where milk powders are available, something that the husband is extremely reluctant to do because it will mean abandoning his dream of mechanizing the farm.
Attempts to bridge the gap between the village-community--as well as the family--prove futile and the couple plan to leave the village. On the way, there meet the village priest who is also the priest of the family. After a final confrontation, the priest comes round and gives his permission to use the family cow's milk.
It clearly suggests the conflict between tradition and modernity. The reference to the cow is particularly striking because the cow has a sacred significance in the Hindu tradition. The film projects teo distinct attitudes ; one is the traditional, orthodox attirude which seeks to sanctify the animal and in terms of which the infant's condition has a karma-like moral meaning, and the more modern attitude examplified in the son. He is commotted to modern methods of farming and his efforts at mechanization of the farm are being constantly frustrated for superstitions and obscurantist reason. His need for cow's milk for his child is also part of a secular world, and the need is seen as falling within a neutral realm