Border is one of the best movies ever made – it fills us with a surge of pride to see how bravely our soldiers fought to vanquish the enemy and win victory for the motherland. When we think of patriotism, we think Border, we think Uri, we think LOC Kargil. But is that the only form of patriotism? Is killing and destruction, army uniforms, and big speeches on love for India the only form of worship we can bestow upon our nation? Bollywood has shown otherwise, with films that showcase the everyday patriotism that permeates in every person of India, every day, without making a big splash about it.
When Mohan(Shah Rukh Khan) sees the conditions of rural communities in India, he doesn’t make a big speech about how he wants to change the entire country. He is a simple man, who sees a problem, and knowing that he has the means to solve the problem, devises a solution. Is that not patriotism if he gets even one tiny village electricity? Is it not patriotism if he helps a local school teacher empower girls and help educate them? Patriotism is in small steps, and Swades shows that in the best possible way.
2. A Wednesday
What happens when the common man finally gets tired of being treated like ants? What happens when he decides to fight back against terrorism and the incompetence of the government to avoid bomb blasts in the nation? He fights back, which is what happens. A Wednesday is a brilliant example of how patriotism and anger are in every walking common man in India, and he should not be mocked. We especially loved how the protagonist’s name was kept a secret, so people don’t get the wrong idea about any particular religion.
It doesn’t always take entire armies to win wars, sometimes it only takes courage from one simple girl. Based on Harinder Sikka’s novel about an agent who gets married into a Pakistani military family to spy, Raazi is one of those movies that doesn’t inspire hate towards Pakistan that comes with common India-Pak movies. The movie shows how every citizen is loyal towards their nation, and they have every right to be. The song Aye Watan does not mention India, as a nod to patriotism that is a feeling in every man or woman, be it Indian or Pakistani.
4. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
After military might, sports might be the next thing closely associated with patriotism. We go absolutely nuts during cricket matches or during the Olympics. But who can best one of the fastest runners of India in patriotism? Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is the story of Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar), who was given the nickname The Flying Sikh by a Pakistani General. The film is an example of how every individual can make the nation proud, by sheer will and perseverance.
5. Chak De! India
We might come from different states, speak different languages, have different lifestyles, but as Indians, our hearts beat as one. SRK’s sports film struck a mark as it attempted to convey patriotism by a team that had to overcome their prejudices to come together as a team. It was a valuable lesson in how patriotism is not singing the national anthem or winning medals, it’s also about supporting each other, and standing together as one.
Which film did you enjoy?