Actor Ajay Devgn says the attempt with his latest war drama Bhuj: The Pride of India is to chronicle unheard stories of great sacrifices made for the country.
Directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya, Bhuj is set against the backdrop of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.
The film follows IAF Squadron Leader and the then Bhuj airport in-charge Vijay Karnik (Devgn), who reconstructed an entire IAF airbase with the help of 300 women from a local village in Madhapar, near Bhuj, Gujarat to protect the country.
Ajay Devgn said that people of the country are unaware about the sacrifices made by countless heroes during the war. He said even he had never heard the real-life story of Bhuj until the film came to him.
“That’s the problem with our country. There are such great sacrifices that people don’t know about. It’s not there in our history books.
“And if we don’t talk about our sacrifices and heroes, how are we going to love our country?” the 52-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Devgn, who has previously featured in patriotic period movies like Tanhaji (2020) and The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002), said it’s important for the audience to know about the country’s history, especially, its hard earned independence.
“People should know because when you get something with difficulty, you keep it close to you. If it comes easy to you, then you don’t value it. If they know about these sacrifices, they will know why we are where we are. And if it makes even a two-percent difference, we are sorted.
“The country is sorted. Then we don’t need to say, ‘Oh I love my country.’ You just need to respect it and it will fall into your every day duties.”
The war movie also stars Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Ammy Virk, Nora Fatehi and Sharad Kelkar.
Bhuj, Ajay Devgn said, isn’t a film about one man but “multiple heroes” and a huge group of women who weren’t part of any armed forces. “They broke their houses to make a runway and I thought it was a great story to tell,” he added.
In recent past, Hindi films with historical backgrounds have come under heavy criticism for being jingoistic. Devgn said as a maker, the key is to not dramatise a real event for provoking nationalist sentiments.
“You keep characters and screenplay very real. You should know where to draw the line. In our film, there’s no jingoism. In Tanhaji also, there was no jingoism. They were fighting for the country but not crying that they loved their country,” he added.
Bhuj: The Pride of India is currently available on streaming service Disney Plus Hotstar.