Dear ‘Paid Media Trolls’, URI is not a propaganda film, it is a movie about the Indian Army’s heroics !!!

Today’s social media craze, which is clearly driven by WhatsApp forwards, nearly a decade ago was driven by emails. Anyone and everyone who once had a yahoo/hotmail id, which has now being replaced by gmail, must have received an email forward with the subject line ‘CURRICULUM VITAE DR. MANMOHAN SINGH PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA’.

I remember forwarding the email to several of my contacts just after he assumed office in the year 2004, since this was probably the first Prime Minister of India with such an impressive resume.

If one remembers correctly, Dr Manmohan Singh was praised by many with the tag line ‘Singh Is King’, after he clinched the India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2009. So now, can I outrightly say that this resume and tag line of Ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh was nothing but pure propaganda? It would be a shame to say something like that since it is the job of sane personalities to give due credit wherever it is required.

It is a well-known fact that Chennai is not the place where one would expect to see a Hindi movie running jam-packed for 9 consecutive days, that too without English subtitles. I had the opportunity to watch the Hindi movie Uri, on a Saturday morning show. Not an ideal time for a movie, but this was the only slot available and I had been wanting to watch this movie ever since it released on 11th of January 2019.

The fast gripping screen play screams of ‘How’s the Josh’ and the portrayal of Indian Army with action packed sequences, are some of the main reasons that people loved to watch this movie on big screens, irrespective of the fact that this was in a language which is not understandable to many in Chennai. My 58-year-old mother tremendously enjoyed the movie, despite the difficulties she faced in understanding some of the dialogues in the movie.

Just as I boarded an Uber cab to return home, I had the opportunity to read an annoying review of the same movie by a NDTV journalist called Sunetra Choudhury.

She is someone who doesn’t need much of an introduction, for she was one among the many to celebrate the fact the current PM Narendra Modi had a swine flu scare in 2009.

This was not her only feat to celebrate a political leader’s misfortune, she did a similar rerun when BJP President Amit Shah had a similar scare few days back.

Now coming to her movie review, she had apparently suggested that the theater where she saw the movie, it was 80% empty. Firstly, I have no idea where she had seen the movie, but at least I have the courage to disclose the location where I saw the movie, it was Palazzo Cinemas in Forum Vijaya Mall. As suggested the Hindi movie without English subtitles was jam-packed in Chennai on a morning show, even after the fact that it had been running for the 9th consecutive day.

Secondly, this movie is majorly about our Indian Army and details about the Surgical Strike, which happened in 2016. The movie also showcases the 2015 Indian counter-insurgency operation in Myanmar, does that mean it is a propaganda by the Indian Army?

It was hardy a movie about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or any individual, there was very little party propaganda in the movie. Agreeably the movie did make references to many leaders ranging from PM Narendra Modi, NSA Ajit Doval, Ex-Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Minister Sushma Swaraj, but what the author failed to say that it also showcased our Indian Army Chief of Staff Dalbir Singh, what does that mean? It means she just watched the whole movie searching for BJP leaders and nothing more.

If this movie was all about BJP’s propaganda, I doubt it will leave the audience teary eyed at the end of the movie with screams of Jai Hind and Bharath Mata Ki Jai, and yes, I am not exaggerating. This was the first time I had the opportunity to witness such reactions in any Hindi movie that I had seen in Chennai.

Thirdly, she was quick to point out that RAW/IB spies are certainly not supposed to look good as they have been portrayed in this movie. Bollywood, time and again had spent a great deal of time portraying ‘Gangsters’ and ‘Terrorists’ as ‘Handsome hunks’, it is quite refreshing to see a smart and beautiful female RAW/IB agent and some good-looking Indian Army personnel. I certainly did not see any concerns from Sunetra when Sharukh Khan played the lead role of a brutal real-life gangster in his movie Raees.

This is not the first time, neither it will be the last when paid Media personalities like Sunetra will go out on a limb to prove their allegiance to the Congress party. But for what it is worth, it is very much required to praise someone when it is required, a trait which is lost in today’s Mainstream Media. If not for the vibrance of social media, these paid propagandists will certainly leave no stone un-turned to showcase their loyalty.

For what it is worth, I will be trying to watch the movie “The Accidental Prime Minister” next week and I believe this could be a propaganda movie, but unlike Sunetra I will try to watch the movie with a neutral eye.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi.

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