Independence Day 2021: Bollywood’s flag-bearers of patriotic cinema

Independence Day 2021: Bollywood’s flag-bearers of patriotic cinema, from Manoj Kumar to Akshay Kumar

Shaikh Ayaz
India at 75: Patriotism or jingoism? A look at why the Indian flag is flying high in today’s Bollywood movies, from Uri to Shershaah to Bhuj and looking back at the original Bharat Kumar.

Independence Day. Can you imagine this occasion without Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, Nehru, Netaji Bose, BR Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel… and from the Bollywood side, Akshay Kumar? You might as well add John Abraham and Kangana Ranaut to that list, lest the duo have any hard feelings later. These are just three of the Hindi marquee stars, with a little help from Ajay Devgn, who are responsible for the extraordinary rise of patriotic-themed Hindi movies in the last decade. Put another way, if the “josh” of nationalistic content is high these days — sorry, Uri (2019) guys — blame it on the Desi Boyz (2011) and our very own Rani Jhansi (Manikarnika, 2019) who famously called herself an “ultranationalist.”

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11 Responses to “Independence Day 2021: Bollywood’s flag-bearers of patriotic cinema”

  1. Like

    • Holiday – Soldier is never off duty remains my favourite.
      It had a brilliant story line, the first on sleeper cells in a bollywood commercial set up.
      The song at the end gives goosebump.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The lousiest masala garbage being your favorite (that too a remake), no surprises there that you put the catastrophe of Murugadoss ahead of the style blended with substance of Neeraj Pandey’s Baby 👏


  2. Does Border remain the greatest War movie ever made in India?
    The songs, the star casr, dialogs, fight sequences, climax they were ming blowing.

    Please enter your thoughts and do mention if you watched it on theatre or differently. Because movie experiences matter and helps in knowing the perspective.


    • To me, it is Chetan Anand’s HAQEEQAT, though the film gives a clean chit to the two failures Nehru and Krishna Menon. It captures beautifully the emotions of a soldier on the ground … And to those who cry hoarse and enjoy using words like ‘jingoism’ ‘nationalism’ etc., etc., take a read as to what Vijay Anand says in the end …


      The Deccan Chronicle reports that in 1964, Satyajit Ray, on seeing the film, had told the director, “Chetan, I saw Haqeeqat. Strong visuals, excellent music, but no story”. Reportedly Chetan Anand replied, “Haqeeqat is not a story. It is a mosaic.”[13][27] In the film, director and writer Chetan Anand accepts India’s defeat in the war, showcasing the overpowering grief that comes as a result.[28] In 1965 critic Edith Laurie said that Haqeeqat “is the first movie treatment of India’s war with China,” is dedicated to Jawaharlal Nehru and is full of “patriotic cliches”. He said the enemy was depicted as per the national narrative and that “the eye-rolling Chinese are reminiscent of sinister Japanese in America’s World War-II movies”.[21] In 2002, film-maker Vijay Anand said of Haqeeqat, “the film glorified the Indian Army in its moment of grief. It was a tribute to our soldiers […] You need guts to make a film like this”.[26] The film made about ₹1 crore (equivalent to ₹59 crore or US$8.3 million in 2019).[29]


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wishing everyone at SS a very happy Republic day in the glorious 75h year of Independent Bharat – ‘आजादी का अमृत महोत्सव’ !!
    Jai Hind, Jai Bharat !!


    • You too Rochy bhau. Welcome and where and how have you been?
      Keep posting. Missed you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yahan hoon, yaheen hoon… trying to stay away from the toxicity .

      BTW, I really loved you comment below on Sanjana’s review of Pushpa- ( the silence that followed your priceless comment was deafening )-

      Orthodox view – The movie i like is qualitatively better than what i dont like and those who don’t like have a problem.

      Liberal view – i may like a movie which no one likes and i may not like a movie which everyone likes. Still i will not judge others choices. To each their own.

      Which one is yours? Mine is liberal.
      And no you are no one to educate others and me if you are orthodox. 🤫

      Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Republic Day!

      Liked by 1 person

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