Indian Patriotic Movies To Watch With Your Child This Republic Day

Republic Day is here, and what better time to instil a bit of patriotism in your kids? Here's a line-up of Indian movies that teach us what it means to be a proud Indian. Check them out.

By Sherine Paul-Solomon

Indian Patriotic Movies To Watch With Your Child This Republic Day

Republic Day is here! From march pasts, numerous flag hoisting ceremonies, reciting of the constitution of India and celebrating the holiday with family and friends, this day is truly a grand affair. Well, how about doing something different this year? Select a patriotic movie and watch it with your children. 

Movies have the power to change the world

A well-made film can have a tremendous impact on the minds of people, especially the young. When the hero upholds the Indian flag, it fills the viewers with pride for their mother land. Having a sense of pride in your nation can start at an early age. Let's instill a sense of patriotism in children so that they grow up to respect the armed forces and have a sense of duty towards the country. 

Here is a list of movies that have succeeded in bringing about that emotion and made us cheer India! India!

Also read: Interesting Facts About Republic Day That Every Kid Should Know

Note: Some of the movies mentioned in the list can contain violence so parental guidance and viewer discretion is advisable.

List of India patriotic films

1. Gandhi (1982)

As the name suggests, it revolves around the life and story of the 'Father of our Nation' - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Ben Kingsley stars in this film. This historical drama, gives us a glimpse of the life-defining moment in 1893 when he was thrown off the train that catered only to whites in South Africa, and that which led to the non-violent (ahimsa) protest campaign. It takes a look at important events such as his role in the Quit India movement against the British Empire through non-violent methods; history-defining events like the Jallianwala Bagh massacres, the Dandi Salt march and the inevitable partition. The film ends with his assassination in 1948. Children should watch this film as it gives a sneak peek into the life and times of one of our greatest freedom fighters.

2. Roja (1992)

Seasoned actor, Arvind Swamy, stars in one of Mani Ratnam’s biggest hits as a filmmaker. While the movie starts on a light note, showing us a young cryptologist Rishikumar (Swamy) getting married to Roja (Madhu) – the pace quickly shifts once they go to Kashmir on a project. Rishi is kidnapped, and the terrorists intend to trade him in exchange for a terrorist. The focus is on terrorism in the Kashmir region and the struggles Rishi’s wife goes through in her desperate search to find her missing husband. Probably one of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when the National flag is set on fire and Rishi tries to douse it by rolling over it, almost getting burned in the process. His patriotism is further on display while he is being beaten by terrorists but against all odds continues shouting, “Jai Hind.”

3. Indian (1996)

This Kamal Hassan starrer has the actor in a double role as a veteran army man who can't stand corruption and his young son who is a corrupt citizen. An upstanding citizen, he weeds out corruption by bringing about justice as a vigilante. The film highlights the corruption in our system and how one small act can lead to an avalanche of misfortunes. There was a lot of buzz around the use of Varmakkalai, an ancient lethal martial art, that he uses to paralyse criminals before killing them. A throwback to a pre-independent India is also depicted in the film. The film tries to convey a message to children that they should always avoid corruption and lead a life of truth.

4. Border (1997)

Considered one of the best war movies of Indian cinema, Border depicts the hardships of war and the bravery and patriotism of our soldiers. The all-star cast of Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Jackie Shroff and Pooja Bhatt brought us this cult war drama classic. The film is based on the real-life incidents of Longewala battle during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war. The film was greatly successful as it managed to connect emotionally with audiences. While bringing patriotism to the fore, it also criticized war and emphasised how it leads to nothing but destruction. The song Sandese aate hai perfectly depicts the struggle families go through when their loved ones are away on the battle front.

Sandese aate hai (Messages arrive),

Humein tadpate hai (They torment us),

Woh chitti aati hai (Letters arrive),

Woh pooche jaati hai (They keep on asking us),

Ke ghar kab aaoge (When will you come home),

Likho kab aaoge (Write, when will you come)

Ke tum bin yeh ghar suna suna hai (This house is lonely without you).

The film ends on a poignant note showing a list of the soldiers who lost their lives in battle and the trauma it causes their loved ones. A great and timely message for the younger generation, regarding the casualties of war on and off the field.

5. Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)

Rajkumar Santoshi brings us this story about India’s famous - three young, revolutionary freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Their willingness to die for what they believed in makes us introspect about the sacrifices made for the greater good, which in this case, was for the freedom of the nation from British rule. The movie chronicles Bhagat Singh's life from his childhood to the time he witnesses the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and culminates with him being hanged as a martyr at the young age of 23.

6. Swades (2004)

Swades, which means homeland makes us take a closer look at our country and the various problems that exists across the nation. It explores topics that still plague us today including discrimination based on caste, illiteracy, population and poverty. NASA employee Mohan Bhargav (Shahrukh Khan) returns home to visit his old nanny in rural India and, during his brief stay, notices all that is wrong with his country. A determined Mohan goes about trying to be a change to the village folk and to improve their quality of life. Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera (This country of yours) with its heartfelt lyrics is sure to tug at your patriotic heart strings. The crux of the story shows children that home is where the heart is, wherever you may be.

7. Rang de Basanti (2006)

Rang De Basanti starts with this beautiful and revolutionary quote by Indian Freedom Fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad. “Ab bhi jiska khoon na khaula, khoon nahi wo pani hai. Jo Desh ke kaam na aaye woh bekar jawani hai” (If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your veins. For what is the flush of youth, if it is not of service to the motherland)

The ensemble cast of Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Siddharth, Kunal Kapoor and Soha Ali Khan shine in this cult classic that follows the lives of five young men. The five men’s change in perception comes about after they star in a documentary film on Indian freedom fighters. Youngsters turning the mirror towards the politicians and holding them accountable for their wrong doings was something that struck a chord with the youth of the nation.

8. Chak de India (2007)

Sports is always a unifier. Actor Shah Rukh Khan shines in this role of a former disgraced hockey player looking for redemption. His task of uniting members of the Indian women's hockey team that consists of a diverse group of players from different states is at the heart of this story. Children are sure to learn about teamwork and sporting spirit while watching this intensely engaging film. At the end you are sure to be rooting for the girls and cheering for them loud and clear.

9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

Inspired by true life events of Milkha Singh popularly known as the Flying Sikh, you are sure to be wowed by the story of one of our very own athletic stars on the international stage. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha, Run) has characteristics that are sure to resonate with audiences - hard work, redemption and pride for one's nation. Farhan Akthar is perfect in the role as you can see all the effort gone into every muscle and sinew of an top tier athlete. Through tragedy and triumph you are sure to be rooting for the proud sardar who narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal.

10. Dangal (2016)

Dangal is a film that conveys an important message to children and parents alike – it does not matter whether you are born a girl or a boy, what matters is your hard work and determination to fight obstacles and succeed. Aamir Khan portrays the role of a tough father and coach flawlessly in this sports movie. The struggles that the sisters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari face in building a champion is heart wrenching. The moment which is sure to give you goosebumps is when you see the tricolor flag being raised and hear the Indian national anthem being played on an international stage. A true inspiration for a new crop of future athletes was born.

11. Uri : The Surgical Strike (2019)

A fitting tribute to the Indian Army, Uri is a film based on the 2016 surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army against militant launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). With casualties on both sides, India lost 19 soldiers while 35-50 terrorists were reportedly killed in the covert operations. Vicky Kaushal plays the role of the army man and the movie is sure to get your patriotism going. You get a behind the scenes look at how a surgical strike is planned and executed. The tension is palpable when soldiers in night-vision goggles infiltrate safe houses and terror targets. The film made the catch phrase, "How's the Josh? High sir!” extremely popular.

So, what are you waiting for? Come this Republic Day, pick an inspiring movie to watch with your young child and to show them all they have to be proud about our wonderful country.  

Also read: When our freedom fighters were teenagers

About the author:

Written by Sherine Paul-Solomon on 21 January 2020.

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