Kargil War in the arts and Movies

The brief conflict provided considerable dramatic material for filmmakers and authors in India. Some documentaries which were shot on the subject were used by the ruling party coalition, led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in furthering its election campaign that immediately followed the war. The following is a list of the major films and dramas on the subject.

  • “Lord John Marbury (The West Wing)” (1999), 11th episode of the first season depicts a fictionalized representation of the Kargil conflict.
  • Pentagram’s single, ‘Price Of Bullets’, released in 1999 dealt with the Kargil War.
  • LOC: Kargil (2003), a Hindi movie which depicts many incidents from the war was one of the longest in Indian movie history, running for more than four hours.
  • Lakshya (2004), another Hindi movie portraying a fictionalised account of the conflict. Movie critics have generally appreciated the realistic portrayal of characters. The film also received good reviews in Pakistan because it portrays both sides fairly.
  • Sainika (2002), the Kannada film directed by Mahesh Sukhdhare depicted the life of a soldier with Kargil war as one of the events. Starring C.P.Yogishwar and Sakshi Shivanand.
  • Dhoop (2003), directed by national award winner Ashwini Chaudhary, which depicted the life of Anuj Nayyar’s parents after his death. Anuj Nayyar was a captain in the Indian army and was awarded Maha Vir Chakra posthumously. Om Puri plays the role of S.K. Nayyar, Anuj’s father.
  • Mission Fateh – Real Stories of Kargil Heroes, a TV series telecast on Sahara channel chronicling the Indian Army’s missions.
  • Fifty Day War – A theatrical production on the war, directed by Aamir Raza Husain, the title indicating the length of the Kargil conflict. This was claimed to be the biggest production of its kind in Asia, budget of Rs. 1.5 crore, involving real aircraft and explosions in an outdoor setting.
  • Kurukshetra(2008) – A Malayalam film directed by a former Indian Army Major – major Ravi (Retd) based on his actual experience of Kargil War.

Many other movies like Tango Charlie drew heavily upon the Kargil episode, which still continues to be a plot for mainstream movies with a Malayalam movie Keerthi Chakra. The impact of the war in the sporting arena was also visible during the India-Pakistan clash in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, which coincided with the Kargil timeline. The game witnessed heightened passions and was one of the most viewed matches in the tournament.

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