'Pad Man' to 'Article 15': Celebrating neo-patriotism in Bollywood
Gone are the days when films based on the nation would only showcase the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. While films based on real-life army co-ops are still made, there is a new genre of films that of emerged that talk of nation-building and deal with issues that remain 72 years post-Independence. These neo-patriotic films focus more issues in hand and at times are in tandem with the policies of the government.
On India's Independence day, here is a look at the some the films that have redefined patriotism with their unique stories
Based on Twinkle Khanna's book which in turn is based on Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, R Balki's 'Sui Dhaga' had Akshay Kumar playing a maverick genius who creates low-cost sanitary napkins to propagate menstrual hygiene in his village. A poignant tale at a time when Sanitary napkins and basic menstrual hygiene is still not the most common aspects in India- 'Pad Man' won hearts and praises not just for tackling a topic like menstruation in mainstream cinema but also for initiating a conversation around it. With big stars promoting the film, Kumar, who also produced the film, managed to get a lot of attention to the film, which in turn helped in spreading an important message far and wide.
(Photograph:WION Web Team)
'Make In India' has been a key aspect of Narendra Modi's election. Cashing in on the same idea, Sharat Katria's film 'Sui Dhaga' was a heartwarming story of Mauji (Varun Dhawan) overcoming personal limitations and reviving his family's age-old tradition of tailoring by giving it a contemporary twist. A story firmly rooted in our traditional society, 'Sui Dhaaga' gave the world a glimpse of the immense talent that exists in our country.
(Photograph:WION Web Team)
Article 15: Anubhav Sinha's poignant film on the caste system that still exists in our society made everyone sit up and think hard. Ayushmann Khurrana played Ayan Ranjan a cop transferred to a remote small town in northern India. A foreign-educated, city-bred man, Ayan is far away from the daily problems of the people of the town until a murder of a teenage girl makes him realise the rampant casteism that exists in the interior of the country. A film that very subtly reminded us about the secular fabric of our constitution, 'Article 15' was a winner throughout.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Another Akshay Kumar film that dealt with a topic of national interest. Open defecation is rampant in villages till date. 'ToiletEk Prem Katha' had Akshay Kumar bui8lding a toilet in his house to bring his wife, played by Bhumi Pednekar, back home. A film that not only promoted hygiene and clean India but also addressed the problem of open defecation.
The most important and powerful right of a citizen is the power to vote. A simple right which many do not get to exercise for various issues. Amit Masurkar's film 'Newton' had the talented Rajkummar Rao playing an election commission officer who gets the task to conduct elections in a Naxal area- where the turnout for years has been minimal. How Newton Kumar goes around conducting the elections despite several difficulties forms the rest of the story.