The year was 2001 and two movies were fighting against each other for setting the industry on fire. It was Gadar: Ek Prem Katha vs Lagaan. At the end of the day Gadar starring Sunny Deol beat Aamir’s Lagaan hands down in the box-office profits as Gadar smashed all the records of that time and sold more tickets than all other movies except Sholay in the history of Indian cinema. Sunny Deol’s macho performance against barbaric Pakistanis probably sealed the deal in Gadar’s favour as Indian audience preferred it over Aamir Khan’s character of slow cricketer in Lagaan.
The success of Gadar should have given the Indian movie industry a good template to generate profits by kicking the ass of Pakistanis, which they more than deserve and which has historically been proved in all wars post independence. But this template has hardly been used post Gadar as Bollywood is more than happy importing Pakistani artists and doing “Aman ka Tamasha”. This sell-out of Bollywood essentially means that they have chosen to close their eyes to all Indian achievements in the past 70 years. Not only they have ignored the past 70 years but there are hardly any movies on our freedom struggle. Given this utter neglect of our history, it hardly surprises that students in JNU can get brainwashed and chant “Bharat ki barbadi tak” slogans, thus disrespecting the spirit of our forefathers who laid their lives for our better future.
Why Bollywood, which always want to portray itself as national cinema and ignore local industry, has failed to represent this nation of 1.2 Billion people? Why is it impossible for it to produce anything which reflects Indian cultural and military superiority? Bollywood is more than happy to copy Hollywood trash, but why does it not learn from it and produce movies to respect our war veterans? It is hard to imagine that Indians would not cherish to watch another movie like “Border” but based on historical events/stories. Sadly, Bollywood prefers to glorify Jihadis in movies like Haider and act as fifth column of ISI in creating propaganda against the Indian state. Think about it, would you prefer Tara Singh from Gadar to go and beat the hell out of all Pakistanis to get back his girl or a Hindu bashing PK, who wants to tell all Pakistani guys are awesome and Indians should happily donate their women to them? Do you want SRK to glorify D-gang in Raees or you want to watch stories about our honest and nationalistic soldiers? It will take another article to explain these failures of Bollywood, so let’s go back to the list of movies that Bollywood never produced.
1. Indo-Pak war (1971)
It is surprising that Indians have failed so miserably to cover this glorious display of courage and capability of the Indian Armed forces. It broke the back of Pakistan completely and forced it to abandon the idea of direct military confrontation against India. Let’s look at the themes one can explore on this war.
- Genocide of Bangladeshi Hindus: If Schindler’s list can be used by Jews for propaganda, no better way to project plight of Hindus during this war. A movie on this genocide will completely tar Pakistani reputation forever and represent them for what they are i.e. barbarians.
- International power play: This war was fought under great international pressure where Indira Gandhi was called bad names by Americans for her courage. Not only India superbly managed international pressure, it managed to create Bangladesh over coming all these odds. Is there a better way to portray “Nari Shakti” of India when US is still struggling to elect a female President?
- War theatre: This is such a rich topic to explore. The Indian Army achieved its objectives in such a short period of time and captured 90,000 POW that it is a tragedy that no one ever tried to put it on silver screen. Operation Trident by Indian Navy where they destroyed the Karachi harbour and caused massive damage to Pak capability will make such an amazing thriller. The extreme finesse with which India achieved its objectives should be a textbook case of how to conduct military operations. Hear this song from “Border” to understand what our soldiers sacrifice every time they leave their family members for our safety.
2. Indo-Pak war(1965)
This was another glorious war effort by Indian soldiers. In the aftermath of defeat against the Chinese in 1962, this war was a huge adrenaline boost for a poor and lost country trying to rediscover its strength.
- Genius of PM Shastri: Pakistanis always thought that Indian is a country of banias and ruled by a nobody called Shastri. But Lal Bahadur Shastri showed his true metal and proved his name Bahadur beyond doubt when he gave orders to march into Punjab to ease pressure on J&K. Don’t you want to hear the stories of the simple guy who became our PM and gave the war cry- “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan“!!! His death in Tashkent would make another great story and debate to explore.
- Battle of Assal Uttar: This was the battle of battles in this war where Indians won by sheer courage and tactics against a much better armed enemy. It was the biggest tank battle post World War-2 and Indians were not only out-numbered but also had old Centurian tanks from WW2, while Pak marched with the new Patton tanks supplied by US. This battle settled the debate that 1 Pakistani Muslim=10 Hindu banias once and for all as Pakistan never regained its confidence after this battle.
3. Kargil war(1999)
This was the first war where Indians saw some action directly broadcasted on their TV sets at home. Few movies were made in the immediate aftermath of this war but since then everyone has forgotten it.
- Lahore bus backstab: PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee went with a huge fanfare to Lahore on a bus to create permanent peace between two hostile nations. What did he get in return? He got backstabbed by General Musharraf who planned Kargil war while Vajpayee was eating biryani with Nawaz Sharif, then PM of Pakistan. This story needs to be told again and again to hammer the lesson into Indian heads- Don’t trust Pak!
- Mountain warfare: Which other country can boast that they have wrestled back peaks at more than 5000 m by sheer bravery and love for the nation of its soldiers. Not only our soldiers faced the uphill battle in literal sense of the word, but also had to engage in fist fights to finally over power the enemy. We all will like to hear the story of Captain Vikram Batra, “ye dil maange more” guy, on big screen. Watch this sequence from Lakshya to understand what we are missing:
4. Siachen Glacier
When we are talking about mountain warfare, how can we forget about Siachen Glacier. Ask any mountaineer their love for mountains and whether they would like to visit the largest the glacier in the world called Siachen. You would not hear a single-No. But ask our soldiers who live there night and day and they will explain you that it is not a pleasant experience in any way. So why do they live there- for strength and glory of India!!
- The history: Learn about the great spy games on how this area became disputed when Indians discovered that Pakis were buying low temperature clothing and boots in large numbers on the western markets in 1987 and decided to outsmart them to capture the highest ridges on the glacier.
- Operation Rajiv: You can only imagine the nail biting fight of our soldiers under freezing cold conditions. This story should be told again and again to understand the sacrifices of our jawans day in and day out. Isn’t it surprising that no one has tried to made a movie on the Param Vir Chakra winner, the legendary Bana Singh, who captured the highest post(6,447 m) on this glacier, which was later renamed in his honour as Bana Top?
- War against nature: Indian soldiers hardly care for the weak Pakistanis any more on this glacier. Their biggest enemy is the freezing cold and uncertainty of the glacier. We want to hear their true stories and feel proud of our guys of steel. We want to hear how our helicopter pilots fight odds against death in every sortie they make over the glacier. We want to know how our bravehearts manage to live on such heights with loss of appetite and vision. Read this story to understand what we should be told every day.
5. Indo-China war(1962)
Great nations not only remember their success stories, but what sets them apart is their appetite to hear about their failures. This war which India lost due to the follies of its leaders should serve as a reminder again and again.
- Nehru’s blunders: How India and China went from being best buddies chanting “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” to the worst of enemies should be a classic text book story to tell our kids. The role of Nehru and V.K. Krishna Menon in ensuring India’s defeat should be looked at from a fresh perspective. How countries from NAM failed to give their support to India should be another lesson in diplomacy.
- Brave hearts: This was one war where our soldiers were heavily outnumbered as well as under equipped. But what a fight they put against all such odds. PVC winner Major Shaitan Singh still lives among the memories of soldiers serving around the Chushul area. Old Bollywood did much better in waking up the spirit of a defeated nation by producing “Haqeeqat“. Listen the song below to realize the chill it sends down your spine and what we should try to recreate as popular narrative.
Just reading this piece will fill you up with emotions for our brave soldiers, so you can easily imagine what movies on above mentioned topics can do for the nation. Also, there is no better way to pay homage to our dead soldiers by celebrating and remembering them through popular culture. You too will hate Bollywood now for failing to give Indians a chance to celebrate their unity and courage. But this cannot go on forever and we need to make our voices heard to bring this change in our movie industry. So trend #anti-national Bollywood to take this message further.
Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan