Some patriotic flavour through films

Filmi fundaas

Come January 26 or August 15, and the patriotic fervour surges through our being with all the verve imaginable.

Indeed, the whole atmosphere seems to be filled with nationalistic pride. And the feeling is further fuelled at the majestic sight of the Tricolour flying high on the Red Fort and radio and loudspeakers blaring out songs hailing the sacrifice of the martyrs.

It was an independence hard fought and well worth, a fact that we must never forget. But even for one small moment we do, there is Bollywood and the small screen to keep our memory refreshed! 

The Hindi film industry has a very strong sense of patriotism and many movies based on patriotic themes have been released in the past. Every year the industry sees at least a film dedicated to India and her freedom fighters which instills a sense of pride and patriotism.

One film that comes to mind is Haqeeqat, which released in 1964. This film is one of the best movies on one of the wars India fought and the plight of the nation in the 1962 Sino-Indian war days.

The story of this brilliant movie is about a small battalion of soldiers, encircled by the Chinese troops, who rather than surrender bravely fight till their last breath. The smash hit song Ab Tumhaare Hawaale Watan Saathiyo from the film still bring tears to our eyes. Evocative lines Saans rukti gayi, nabz jamti gayi phir bhi badhte kadam ko na rukne diya wonderfully capture the emotions of the Indian soldier.
A must watch on Independence Day. Another film is the 1991 release Prahaar.

The movie, directed by Nana Patekar, shows the transition of a carefree boy to a respected soldier and his determination to set right the wrongs in society. Prahaar is definitely one of the lesser appreciated yet brilliantly made movie. Krantiveer, which released in 1994 is also a film synonymous to Nana Patekar. His hard hitting dialogues made this movie a cult hit and there is a huge fan following associated with it.

Krantiveer also got Nana the Best Actor National award. The dialogue Yeh Musalman ka khoon yeh Hindu ka khoon...bata is mein Musalman ka kaunsa Hindu ka kaunsa, bata...is still remembered today. Dimple Kapadia, Paresh Rawal and Danny Denzongpa have also given brilliant performances in this movie.

Talking about contemporary times, Border in 1997, Lagaan in 2001, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha in 2001, Rang De Basanti in 2006, Chak De! India in 2007 are some the hits which successfully portrayed patriotism.

Talking to Metrolife, Pradeep Das, an industrialist shared how films made on freedom struggle have changed in recent times. “In the 60s we had three wars, two with Pakistan and one with China.

So, in the past, filmmakers who have seen those tough times could show reality on screen easily. But, now I feel it is tougher for filmmakers to incorporate that actual flavour in their films because they should have been through those ‘bloody’ days to feel it. Also, technology and photography wise things today have changed.”

Das lists five top patriotic films and songs for Metrolife as well. Haqeeqat, Shaheed (Manoj Kumar), Gadar..., Chak De! India and Border are his top five films. His top five songs are Jaha daal daal par sone ki chidiya karti hai basera vo bharat desh hai mera, Aye mere watan ke logo, Jinhe naaz hai hind par woh kahan hai, Kar chale hum fida and Ae watan ae watan hamko teri qasam. Ishaan Kapoor, a copywriter, said, “Although I have all the recent films on freedom struggle and liked all of them, but also I could not relate to films like Mother India and Haqeeqat. I lose interest while watching black and white films.”

Another youngster, Pankaj Sharma, a bank employee, added, “Nowadays, we do not even watch the PM’s speech at Red Fort on August 15, leave alone films. It has become just another off-day to relax and unwind.” 

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