Happy 60th birthday to my motherland... This is gonna be another post on movies. But a different one at that. This is a tribute to the men who guard our borders, men who fight for people they don't even know, men who love their country more than their family and men whom we all forget. Yesterday, I happened to watch the Hindi movie '1971' about Indian soldiers held as POW s in Pakistan after the 1971 war. Most people won't even have heard about this beautiful movie. Though I've seen the ads some months back, me too never thought this would be so good until my friend Nandan recommended this to me.
After the 1971 Indo Pak war, India handed over all the Pakistani POW s to that country. But Pakistan didn't reciprocate the gesture as it secretly detained 60 odd Indian soldiers. They even duped the red cross into believing that there were no Indian soldiers left in Pakistani prisons. They hid the men in some secret locations close to the border. They were made to believe that they'll be released soon. But some men among them got the plot and decide to escape from the place. The movie follows their escape bid and ends in a very sad and realistic climax. The camera work is splendid, capturing vividly the heaven on earth, Kashmir, in all its splendour. Manoj Bajpai dazzles with some superb acting. The supporting cast is also equally good. The climax will surely leave you misty eyed. And to think that 60 odd men spend the better half of their life in prison unknown to the people of their motherland is really sad.
Only their relatives remember these war heroes now. The government seems to have not even heard about them. 2 days back, there was this news that a 1971 war veteran threatened to suicide on august 15th, 2007 as a protest against the government for ignoring him and not giving him the benefits which are due to him. This is a sad state of affairs since soldiers are the ones whom the whole country owes a lot. And by not giving them what they deserve, the government is showing disrespect to the country itself. They brave bad weather, bullets and so many unfavourable conditions just because they love their motherland. And what do they get in return... apathy from the part of the government and forgetfulness from the self centred Indian citizen.
Its time to change it all. The Indian soldiers should be given pride of place in the society and the benefits that are due to them should be cleared at the earliest. On this independence day, lets salute those forgotten heroes, if not for whom, we may not be walking so freely as now.
Checkout the great Jana Gana Mana Video initiative by A.R.Rahman featuring India's greatest artists. Its shot at the world's highest battlefield, Siachen. As always, when it comes to Indian patriotic music, this maestro is the last word....
Jana Gana Mana by A.R.Rahman and other famous Indian artists
Take a look at my old post on how meaningless Independence day celebrations have become..
also see this video..a foreigner singing jana gana mana
with salutes to the great Indian soldiers,
your crusader Praveen