India celebrates Republic Day on January 26 to honor the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect. And this year, we are taking a look back at the movies that represent the India we live in, while also serving as a reminder of the India we wish to be a part of. 

1. Rang De Basanti

A beautiful take at representing the millennial generation’s idea of India and patriotism, Rang De Basanti is a film that stays relevant even today, over a decade after its release. From its empowering soundtrack to its powerhouse performances and gripping storyline, everything about the film was an ode to the spirit of ‘millennial India’. 

Indian Express

2. Swades

Swades was a beautiful reminder that loving your country does not have to equate to being blind to its flaws. Rather, it is important to take note of the flaws and work towards building a better world, one action a time. 


3. Raazi

Raazi was a humane, emotional exploration of the personal sacrifice that service to the nation demands from a person. It was also one of the rare instances where a patriotic film focused on the fight that soldiers and spies participate in, without painting the ‘other side of the border’ in a starkly evil light. 

Nagpur Today

4. Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani

In an era of melodramatic romances and exaggerated comedies, came the comedy-drama Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. And 20 years after its release, it still remains one of the most honest representations of what media trials, fake reporting, and corruption can do to the fabric of the country – and how, ultimately, it is the people only who can rise up to defend a nation. 


5. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

A brilliant political drama Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi is set against the backdrop of the Indian Emergency and, through its three protagonists, focuses on how the country’s socio-political climate affects its citizens. 

Indian Express

6. Hu Tu Tu 

The last film that Gulzar directed, Hu Tu Tu was a raw take on the concept of hate politics. Devoid of Gulzar’s trademark romantic gaze, Hu Tu Tu became a story that the audience found difficult to digest. And yet, its honest take on corruption and political mismanagement made it an important story. 


7. Yuva

Through its three protagonists, Yuva touched on the 3 subjects that directly influence politics- the role of students in politics, the existence of violence in political power struggles, and the need for the youth to take an active role in shaping the country’s political climate. In a way, it was also the personification of the dedication, aggression, and hopeful idealism that often shapes the youth of a country. 


They may not have been characterized by intense fight sequences, but these movies were just as patriotic in their own right. 

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