Hindi films have been shaping people’s opinion, dictating their emotions and making their voices heard in a way that no other medium has the potential to do. Films have the wider reach and their popularity makes it easier for the audience to understand what’s being preached. Mainstream Bollywood films, especially, have been using the platform to tell stories to ignite patriotism and the feeling of we-stand-united among the audience. Several filmmakers, in fact, used the platform to narrate stories of patriotism and nationalism that didn’t fall in the traditional creative box.
When Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra made Rang De Basanti (2006), it didn’t come out as the usual jingoistic drama. Rather it had a strong appeal and a passion to seek change around. Similarly, when Ashutosh Gowariker made Lagaan (2001), it showed a different spark of freedom. The film told the story of a man whose idea of freedom wasn’t magnanimous. Lagaan focussed on demanding justice and fighting for your self-respect first before seeking independence in the larger picture.
Here are a few other prominent films produced by Hindi film industry that instantly come to one’s mind whenever the sound of ‘India-India!’ echoes around!
JP Dutta’s Border is one of the most remembered war films ever. These dialogues can make anyone feel ready to fight the ‘dushman’ at the border:
“Aaj se tumhari har goli par desh ke dushman ka naam likha hoga”
“Hum toh kisi doosre ki dharti par nazar bhi nahi dalte … lekin itne nalayak bachche bhi nahi hai … ki koi hamari dharti maa par nazar daale aur hum chup chap dekhte rahe”
Chak De! India (2007)
The film had Shah Rukh Khan giving the most exhilarating ‘Sattar Minute’ speech and staying at the centre of India’s win in the hockey world cup match.
Purab Aur Paschim (1970)
There’s no one till date who could explain India’s achievement and the importance of its existence in the world better than how Manoj Kumar did in the song ‘Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada.‘ Watch it here:
This Chetan Anand-directorial was based on Indo-Sino war of 1962 and had terrific performances by Balraj Sahni, Sanjay Khan, Vijay Anand and a young Dharmendra.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001)
A love story that cemented Sunny Deol’s place in the industry as the ultimate patriotic mascot, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha had beautiful songs, powerful dialogues and performances to remember for years. Here’s the famous hand-pump scene:
Ashutosh Gowariker made a film that made the audience think about their contribution to their country’s development. Probably the most subtle take on patriotism, Swades showed an Indian scientist who rediscovers India and decides to stay here and work towards the betterment of his people in the country.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
The film had Ajay Devgn playing one of the most celebrated Indian freedom fighters. Rajkumar Santoshi didn’t do anything extra. He just told the honest story of a brave man who contributed greatly to provide independence. The Legend of Bhagat Singh was a simple film that did wonders.
Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)
The film showed the story of India’s counter-attack on Pakistan after the army base in Uri was bombed in September 2016. Vicky Kaushal became the national hero and his dialogue ‘How’s The Josh’ became a phenomenon.
This was a distinct film that showed the valour of a regular Indian girl in sacrificing her life and feelings for her country. Raazi was the kind of film that didn’t speak of patriotism by using over-the-top emotions or heavy dialogues but it subtly ignited the feeling of unity and showed every Indian is a soldier.
Hrithik Roshan played the man who realises the lost motive of his life after defeating the insurgents from Pakistan. This was Farhan Akhtar’s second attempt at direction after Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and he once again aimed the story at the youth of the country.
So which one is your favourite!