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History of nationalism in Indian cinema

CNN-IBN
Jan 26, 2011 at 08:38am IST

New Delhi: Nationalism in Hindi cinema has come a long way since the 1940s and 50s. Film's like 'Naya Daur' and 'Anand Math' during the era carried the message of patriotism with the dreams and hopes of building a new India.

Though nation building was the mission, freedom struggle provided the backdrop.

In course of time socialist principles coloured the nationalist theme, an idealistic depiction of the village pitted against the evils of urban space made heroes of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor.

Into the 60s, son of the soil Manoj Kumar established himself as the patriotic face of Indian cinema.

War films entered the celluloid zone with 'Haqeeqat', the enemy across the border became the unifying force, a trend which successfully paid off till the 1997 blockbuster 'Border'.

Nationalism gave way to jingoistic tirade with the 2001 super hit Gadar, but the trend didn't catch on for long.

And since Pak-bashing wasn't commercially viable anymore neo-nationalism took over with a more humane hero.

Bhuvan fought the British on a cricket pitch, Mohan Bhargav returned to India leaving a plum job at NASA behind.

And Veer brought home a Pakistani bride. Nationalism for the Indian audience may no longer be a valiant 'Mangal Pandey', a new generation now awakens to pop patriotism where the enemy is within and Aamir Khan is the new Manoj Kumar.

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