The firebrands

The firebrands

Bollywood has rarely made films on freedom struggle or war. In fact, it has made some better fictional freedom fighter movies. If you are someone who...

Bollywood has rarely made films on freedom struggle or war. In fact, it has made some better fictional freedom fighter movies. If you are someone who has studied Indian freedom history with some passion and sincerity then it is strongly advised not to go anywhere near the DVDs or TV screens where these movies are playing.

Most historians have been advised to watch these movies as normal audiences. These movies belong to the world of make-believe and trust me the tyrant rulers from Britain will feel angrier and insulted if they saw these than those who actually won us our freedom.

Mard: Basically as per Sir Manmohan Desai a large part of India’s freedom struggle was driven by Raju Tangewala and his father Raja Azaad Singh. They were also helped by a humble queen Elizabeth look-alike called Lady Helena who was college classmate (read heartthrob) of Raja Azaad Singh. Besides the catchy 1980s slogan “Mard ko dard nahihota…”, this movie truly had entire living things in India fighting the British.

The director ensured that a horse and a dog ensure that India’s freedom struggle hopes continue unharmed as the horse saves the only son of Raja Azaad Singh from the British and in the climax both the dog and the horse fight the British villains.

In fact, Raja and Raju ensure that they kill all iconic British rulernames of those days called Dyer, Simon, Harry, etc. Actually, the movie also woke up to one the biggest shocking facts of history that the blood of Indian slaves was used to overcome the blood deficit needs of British soldiers fighting the Second World War. The movie also had a tint of how India was ready for future international relations and diplomacy as the "tangewala" ensured that the British mayor’s daughter Ruby falls for him.

Kranti: This one was Manoj Kumar’s answer to Sylvester Stallone’s ‘The Expendables’, though Manoj Kumar would have also been blessed with the power of seeing what is coming in the future. This one had almost all kind of assorted freedom fighters fighting the British. Right from a Rani Laxmibai’s cavalry in-charge called Karim Khan played by Shatrughan Sinha to yet another father, sons and grandsons fighting the British.

Manoj Kumar was probably trying to show us that nepotism was first practised by freedom fighters before our politicians copied the idea. This one did not have animals fighting for India’s freedomand that separates this one from Desai’s ‘Mard’. This one, of course, did take some inspiration from Hollywood though as the Kranti team frequently used honey traps like Sarika and Parveen Babi to trap the British soldier's leaders into traps.

In fact, the honey traps ensured converts to freedom struggle too in this movie. Parveen Babi kind of ensured that Shashi Kapoor switched sides from British to India in this one. Probably he got the idea for ‘Ajooba’ from this movie. You cannot blame him though because this one like ‘Mard’ was a rocking box office hit. This movie also showed us the historical fact about how Indian spicy gravy and snacks have been hurting the “goras” since long.In one scene “chana zor garam” cause a failed execution and two important ‘Kranti’ drivers escaping.

1942: A Love Story: As rest of India was aggressively fighting for freedom, as usual, one Bollywood hero had his priorities right – he was busy tearing off pillows in the pleasant memories of his first love. Vidhu Vinod Chopra told us that Kasauni won its freedom, not because of the war cry of “Bharat chhodo” given by Gandhi but because a bald Bob Christo look-alike villain decided to come in between the pure love of a rich boy and a poor girl.

The clever girl sees the Hulk-like powers of the innocent loyal lover and like a true scheming patriot asks him to first get rid of the Britishers if he wants to have a successful love story. So the guy promptly agrees and ensures that he along with one freedom fighter brings a big unit of British Army down. He even kills the Bob Christo look alike as a bonus.

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