Koimoi’s loyal reader Arindam Kar, wrote to us a good column on Hindi movies based on ‘Patriotism’ since 1970s, about Anti-Chinese, Anti-Pakistani, Anti-Indian movies and why the lately released Akshay Kumar starrer Baby is his favourite one! Read on:
First thing I would like to say that the director of Baby Neeraj Pandey had produced a movie named Total Siyapaa which is a love story between a Pakistani Boy and an Indian girl. Before that he had directed Special 26 where Manoj Bajpai played a role of CBI Officer Wasim Khan. Akshay Kumar acted in the movie Namastey London where Pakistanis were shown as good guys.
Secondly, every Indian Patriotic movie is not jingoistic as some people think. Movies like Border (1997) showed the sacrifice of Indian soldiers during 1971 war. The Legend Of Bhagat Singh was based on the struggle of our freedom fighters. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004) by Shyam Benegal was a biopic on India’s great freedom fighter.
After the Sino-Indian war of 1962 Bollywood made a lot of movies during the sixties showing Chinese as India’s worst enemy, who only wants to destroy country. Only Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat made in 1964 can be termed as patriotic movie which showed how Indian soldiers gave their lives to protect their country. The song Kar Chale, Hum Fidaa, Jaan-O-Tan Saathiyon by Mohammed Rafi and composed by Madan Mohan, from this movie is still considered as one of the best patriotic songs of Bollywood. Shaheed (1965) was based on Bhagat Singh’s life.
But after that Bollywood made various Anti-Chinese movies where an Indian Hero fights Chinese Villains. These movies were mostly commercial and can’t be termed as patriotic as Haqeeqat. The James Bond inspired Farz released in 1967 where Jeetendra is an Indian agent and the main villain is a Chinese who wants to ruin India. Humsaya (1968) had many Chinese villains with an implausible story. Shatranj (1969) showed Chinese as idiots and Indians as very clever. However, Manoj Kumar who was known as Bharat Kumar made Upkar which was a tribute to Indian soldiers and Farmers.
In 1970 , Dev Anand and Manoj Kumar gave a very positive message in Prem Pujari and Purab Aur Paschim respectively. Later in Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973), the film portrayed the life of Indian Air Force during 1971 war. The movie was far better than Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999). After Kranti became blockbuster in 1981, Bollywood made Mard (1985) which was purely a commercial movie posing as a Patriotic movie.
Sarfarosh (1999) was the one of the first movie which showed how ISI agents were active in India and Indian Police officers have to fight them inside our country like our soldiers in border. One thing I didn’t like was showing a Pakistani artist as ISI agent. After the super success of Gadar, numerous movies were made where Pakistan was the villain. Some of these movies even showed Pakistani girl can fall in love with an Indian who is fighting against Pakistan. Real life ISI agents are not like Katrina Kaif in Ek Tha Tiger. I think in a patriotic movie both the Hero and the Heroine should be Indian. Indian Hero with a Pakistani Heroine (played by an Indian actress) is not patriotic enough. Indian boys love their country and Indian girls love their country as much as we do.
Qayamat (2003) was a remake of The Rock. Unfortunately Sunny Deol was most hated in Pakistan as he did Gadar, Maa Tujhe Salam and The Hero-Love Story of a Spy. In Kaafila (2007) Sunny Deol played the role of a heroic Pakistani officer.
Some of the movies were based on real incidents but were “escapist heroism”. Zameen (2003) based on Kandahar Hijack and D-Day based on India’s most wanted man hiding in Karachi. In real life we are yet to do such things. War Movie LOC Kargil was based on Kargil war and showcased the patriotism and sacrifice of our soldiers.
Thirdly I would say Bollywood also made PK, Main Hoon Na, Total Siyapaa, London Dreams and Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, where Pakistanis are shown as good people. Main Hoon Na even had an Indian Villain who hates Pakistanis and becomes a militant. There is a scene in the movie, where the character Raghavan played by Sunil Shetty even shoots a dozen of innocent Pakistanis (far from reality).
Lots of people in India criticize Bollywood filmmakers for making Pakistan-bashing movies as if Pakistan never makes India-bashing movies. As we don’t watch Pakistani movies we are not at all aware. I don’t watch Pakistani movies but still I managed to find three anti-Indian movies made in Pakistan. We know about Waar (2013) which was a blockbuster in Pakistan. Before that they made Moosa Khan (2001). But the Pakistani movie Border starring (Shan, Meera, Moammar Rana) was a very anti-Indian movie.
At the end I would say that BABY is one of the finest action thriller movies made in Bollywood. And this is my favourite patriotic song from the Bollywood movie Son Of India (1962).
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