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Independence Day 2020: 5 Hindi Films That Subverted Traditional Notions of 'Patriotism'

Independence Day 2020: 5 Hindi Films That Subverted Traditional Notions of 'Patriotism'

Independence Day 2020 is here and we look back at how the Hindi film industry has accommodated itself to changing times and challenged the traditional notions of patriotism.

Independence Day is that time of the year when emotions run high and we proudly flaunt the tricolour as a sign of respect for our motherland. 

Satellite TV channels will telecast thematic films in a marathon run while music in the milieu reminds one to value the sacrifices of our valiant soldiers and those fighting for the citizens' safety. 

Does holding up the notions of democracy ingrained in our constitution and putting others to question when they sidestep not make us patriotic enough? At least that is what our Hindi film industry is looking to answer while it steadily moves away from the portrayal of war glory and valour to look beyond the traditional confines of what constitutes our love for the nation and nationalism.


In Mulk, a Muslim man's love for his country is questioned when a family member is suspected of having terrorist links. The director, Anubhav Sinha, has not only tied the very fabric of our country into the central family but also leans on to a sensitive narrative exploration of what constitutes a nation state. The movie definitely serves some thinking points to those who think their love for India is more than others.


Parmanu is the story of nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran in 1998. The movie has deep patriotic leanings through various characters and army setting but Arjun's (John Abraham) motivation behind testing atom bombs is more about technological advancement of the country and seeing India on the road to development, apart from flexing its power and might for when time comes.  


A short film that does not fit within the confines of patriotism but looks beyond it. Its aim in giving the posterity a better society with equal opportunities regardless of race, class, gender and ethnicity makes Natkhat a notable entry to this list. Through the film, the director delivers a strong-worded message against patriarchal norms.

OMG! Oh My God

India has seen a strong leaning towards religious sentiments as a means of nation-building. OMG! Oh My God scrutinises our relationship with the almighty and strips it bare. Most importantly, it delivers the message to not be blind-folded by those who try to play with people’s emotions in the name of God.

Sui Dhaaga

It delivers home the idea of a self-reliant nation. In 2020, when there is a ban on Chinese apps and call for Make in India, Sui Dhaaga reminds us that not all borrowed technology and resources are good and trustworthy. It also calls for support of homegrown products and investment in local resources, whose potential is often sidelined for the scale and output of an MNC.

Do you plan on incorporating any of our non-conventional patriotic films to your I-day watchlist?