Updated: Nov 19, 2021
War! When we hear of the word, all we picturize is bloodshed and destruction. War has always been a cause of misfortune either for the nation as a whole or on personal front considering the lives of the frontline soldiers. However, the question arises that what consequences leads to war between nations. The obvious answer- greed. Greed of political power, greed of capturing the lesser privileged nations and so forth. This is a very superficial idea; we are talking about. There is more to the wars we witness that meets the eye. The book “Bollywood Does Battle” by Samir Chopra is one such enlightening book that throws light on the reasons and consequences of the post-independence wars which India had to witness, and which was lesser known earlier and even now.
Talking about the book, the book takes a unique approach describing the major wars of post-independent India with the lens of the Bollywood movies that depicted them. This no doubt makes it an interesting read. The author mainly talks about the Indo China war and the wars with Pakistan India had in 1971 and 1999. The Indian film makers have portrayed these wars in many movies which has both smashed the box office but sometimes proved uninteresting too. The reason being its unrealistic depiction and weak story line. The film makers have obviously taken some liberty as far as the depiction of war is concerned on the silver screen. Sometimes making it over the top while sometimes making it very low key. However, there has been certain movies that have aptly given the facts and done full justice to the sacrifice of the martyrs. The book is written in chronological order of movies being released first about the Indo China war and then gradually talking about the transition in these movies, its storyline and factual depiction.
It talks about movies, the story behind it, the critical analysis of the plot with the fact and include the political history behind it. This makes the book even more alluring as this is a unique approach to critically analyze the history, the war, and the semi-fictional depiction of it. However, the biggest question is- is war necessary? Are the atrocities associated with it which are so glorified worthy? The answer is still debatable. May be the readers will get a better picture of it after reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the read as it was an eye opener for me. There are facts about the wars which we as Indians are still not aware about. As the author states, “The audience prefer seeing it (the movies) from a safe distance.” Nevertheless, this book will provide better insights on these wars which the movies fantasize about and unrealistically glorify.
So, for all those who find their calling in political or historical reading, this book is just right for you. The nest part, it talks about contemporary history which is recent yet lesser known or paid attention to. So, grab a copy for yourself and enjoy the enticing book.