India is celebrating its 70th Republic Day on Saturday and it's the time of the year when every patriotic streak in us comes alive. We turn on the best of Bollywood songs that hail our country, put on our finest tricolour and raise the flag high. We even take the time to watch a good nationalistic film. The choices range from Border or Gadar or Chak De India or even the recently released Uri: The Surgical Strike. Bollywood has given us some good movies with patriotism as its theme. But our television industry is not far behind. Over the years we have seen many television shows that filled our hearts with patriotism. Here are a few...
Shah Rukh Khan starrer Fauji comes on top of this list. Before Shah Rukh Khan became King Khan and ruled the silver screen, he was ruling the small screen with Fauji. A show based on training of an Indian Army commando regiment, Fauji aired on DD National in 1989. It made SRK a household name. The show aired in the 80s but you can surely find a few episodes on the internet. With Fauji, you have two reasons to watch the show. To stir the patriotic spirit and to see what SRK looked like in the early days of his career.
Param Vir Chakra
1988 show Param Vir Chakra was directed by Chetan Anand who earlier helmed war films like Haqeeqat and Hindustan Ki Kasam. It was a very interesting series and told the story of the real-life Param Vir Chakra gallantry award winners. For the uninitiated, Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military honour. Many famous actors like Farooq Sheikh, Naseeruddin Shah and Annu Kapoor featured in the series.
Based on the life of the Indian Coast Guard officers, Sea Hawks is a show every 90s kids would remember. It had an amazing star cast comprising of Om Puri, R Madhavan, Niki Aneja, Anup Soni, Simone Singh and Milind Soman and was directed by Anubhav Sinha (Mulk fame). Whoever has watched Sea Hawks will tell you that they were inspired, at least once, to become an Indian Coast Guard officer.
Pallavi Joshi and Shefali Shah starrer Aarohan aired at the time when women were not allowed to join Indian Navy. The show challenged the status quo and highlighted that even women can be a part of the Indian Navy. Joshi and Shah gave strong performances in the show leaving a meaningful impact.
While there were shows on the Indian Army and the Indian Navy, for the first time on small screen we got to see a show against the backdrop of the Indian Air Force. Starring Sai Deodhar, Sonal Sehgal and Shakti Anand, Saara Akaash, the show concentrated on the lives of Indian Air Force officers.
P.O.W. - Bandi Yuddh Ke
The last but not the least, the most recent show to be aired with the theme of patriotism was P.O.W. - Bandi Yuddh Ke. The show was about two soldiers who return to India after being in a Pakistan prison for 17 years. It starred Amrita Puri, Sandhya Mridul, Purab Kohli and Satyadeep Mishra in lead roles. With its unique concept, the show was highly appreciated.