“THIS is the right time for such a film; to celebrate our history and our heroes. Raag Desh is a relevant story based only on facts and brings forward the unparallel contribution of the Indian National Army in our freedom struggle,” says actor Kunal Kapoor, who was at the Panjab University for the promotion of the film. Directed by well-known film-maker Tigmanshu Dhulia, Raag Desh, which will release on July 28 and stars Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh and Mohit Marwah in lead roles, is based on the Indian National Army trials during World War II.
The film is based on three officers from the British Indian Army, Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan, who were prisoners of war in Malaya, Singapore and Burma respectively. “We wanted to come to Punjab and talk about the film to a wider audience, especially students, as all the three officers were from this state and Kunal and I are Punjabis in real life,” added Mohit Marwah, who plays the character of Colonel Prem Sehgal in the film.
For Kapoor, who plays the role of Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, the film is special for many reasons. First and foremost, it brings to life an event that is not talked about in books or films, in spite of being such an important and integral event in India’s fight for independence. Kapoor, who is known for his role in ‘Rang De Basanti’, added that he loved the script of the film as soon as he read it as it had many engaging elements, a spirit of nationalism, war, courtroom drama, personal struggles.”I am surprised that no movie has been made on this topic, for the INA is cited as one of the reasons for the British leaving India.”
Patriotism is the soul of the film and both the actors reflect that the film was a great learning experience for them, understanding and getting connected to a part of history, the role of INA and Subhas Chandra Bose, which is often disregarded. “We realise how back then, the country and cause was bigger than the individual and it’s sad how many of us don’t know about this part of our history.
Patriotism is standing up for ideologies that your country was made for. And this film tells a story of documented facts, made after two years of extensive research. The film doesn’t have the usual Bollywood song and dance and is not motivated or guided by politics. It’s time to change mind-sets and tell stories in a different way, which our director has done,” Kapoor added.
Marwah admits he has become a history buff after doing this film, watching films on World War II, “I feel in today’s time, when patriotism has been reduced to being angry and impatient on social media, films like ‘Raag Desh’ will talk about the values of honesty, integrity, idealism, which today may not be appreciated, but is needed, especially among the youth. History is an integral part of our present. “