11 Great Bollywood Films Based on Indo-Pak War of 1971

If you are an Indian, then you must be aware of the direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Although the war lasted for just 13 days, it was one of the most important events in the history of both India and Pakistan after Independence. Also, the war resulted in the formation of a new country called Bangladesh after the Pakistani army surrendered to the Indian army and signed the Instrument of Surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka.

Well, the whole 1971 Indo-Pak War, especially the date of surrender, became one of the major historical events for all the three nations involved. Hence, it was only mandatory to believe that the event would inspire filmmakers in Bollywood to explore this particular topic and make Movies based on the Indo-Pak War of 1971. Today, we have some great movies featuring the War itself as well as the post-war effects.

Best Bollywood Films on the Indo-Pak War of 1971

So, here is a list of some breathtaking Bollywood movies from different eras based on a single event of the Indo-Pak War of 1971.

Old Movies on 1971 India Pak War

Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973)

Hindustan ki Kasam Bollywood War film

Well, not a successful movie at the box office, yet this 1973 war film Hindustan Ki Kasam deserves a mention because of the fact that it was the first film based on the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

The film was directed by Chetan Anand, who has already proven his expertise in war films with the 1964 film Haqeeqat based on the Indo-China war. Besides being the director, Chetan Anand has also played a character in the film alongside his brother Vijay Anand.

For those, who aren’t aware of this fact, both Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand are the brothers of veteran actor Dev Anand. The film also stars Raaj Kumar, Balraj Sahni, Priya Rajvansh, Amjad Khan, Amrish Puri, Padma Khanna and others.

Also Read: Movies About Indian Army and Army Life

Aakraman (1975)

Aakraman 1975 film on ind pak war

Aakraman is yet another not so popular film on our list. This 1975 war film deserves a mention this list for two main reasons.

For one, it features a great cast that includes Sanjeev Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Rekha, and Rakesh Roshan in pivotal roles. Secondly, despite being based on the Indo-Pak War of 1971, the film also tries to explore the interpersonal relations between the soldiers, romance, and family ties throughout the film.

Vijeta (1982)

Vijeta 1982 Hindi movie on life of Army and Pilots

Vijeta is 1982 coming-of-age Hindi film directed by Govind Nihlani. Well, the central theme of the film is the journey of a teenage boy, who is trying to discover himself and his goal in life.

Being caught up between the marital problems of his Marathi mother, played by Rekha, and Punjabi father, played by Shashi Kapoor, he decides to join the Indian Air Force to serve the country. Although the decision was made out of anger, he eventually realizes his potential as a fighter pilot with the help of his love interest Anna, played by Supriya Pathak.

The film is not entirely based on the Indo-Pak War of 1971, but the main protagonist of the film Angad Singh, played by Kunal Kapoor, is featured as one of the Mig-21 pilots flying the aircraft in ground attack role during the 1971 war. As a matter of fact, Kunal Singh is the real-life son of the veteran actor Shashi Kapoor, who plays his on-screen father as well.

Films on India Pakistan 1971 War (1990-2009)

Border (1997)

Border 1997 Multistarrer Bollywood Movie

The 1997 Bollywood war film, Border is considered as the Best war film ever made in the History of Indian Cinema. However, most of the audience are unaware of the fact that the film was based on real events concerning the Indo-Pak War of 1971.

Well, the movie didn’t feature the whole event but focused at the famous Battle of Longewala fought in Rajasthan. The movie features the bravery displayed by 120 Indian soldiers of the Punjab regiment under the command of Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, portrayed by Sunny Deol, against a huge tank regiment of the Pakistan army throughout the night until the Indian Air Force came to aid the next morning.

Also Read : Best Movies about World War 2

1971 (2007)

1971 Movie on War Prisoners Indian Bollywood film

Well, most of the war films normally feature the events of the ongoing war. However, there’s much more to a war that most of us civilians are not even aware of. One of the darkest aspects of war is the treatment of the prisoners of war.

These prisoners of war are in fact the soldiers of the opposition army, who get caught alive during the war. The 2007 war drama film 1971 talks about just the same. The film actually features the escape of six Indian soldiers captured as prisoners of war by Pakistan during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyon (2004)

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyon

Well, not entirely a film based on the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo features a single fictional event based on the war as a flashback, while the film is actually set a couple of decades after the war.

Featuring an ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Divya Kumar Khosla, Nagma, Sandali Sinha, Ashutosh Rana, Danny Denzongpa, Govind Namdeo, and many others, the film is a one-time watch for those who favor war movies.

16 December (2002)

16 December Techie Movies Bollywood

As mentioned earlier, 16 December 1971 was the victory date for the Indian army, when the Pakistani army surrendered after signing the Instrument of Surrender.

Well, the 2002 Indian spy thriller film 16 December features a plot that covers a fictional operation by Indian spy agents of the IRS (Indian Revenue Service) to uncover the conspiracy behind an attack planned to destroy the capital city of India, New Delhi with a nuclear bomb on 16th December 2001, 30 years after the Victory Day of the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

The film features an ensemble cast of Milind Soman, Danny Denzongpa, Dipannita Sharma, Sushant Singh, and Gulshan Grover in important roles.

Deewar (2004)

Deewar 2004 film on ind pak war

Yet another film based on the escape of the prisoners of war from the Indo-Pak war of 1971, Deewar is a 2004 war film directed by Milan Luthria.

The film features Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Khanna along with a supporting cast that includes Sanjay Dutt, Kay Kay Menon, Piyush Mishra, Raghubir Yadav, Amrita Rao, Tanuja, Aditya Shrivastava, Pradeep Rawat and many others.

The film is set 33 years after the famous Indo-Pak War of 1971, when a son decides to cross the border to initiate a rescue mission to bring his father, a prisoner of war in Pakistan from the 1971 Indo-Pak war, back to India to rejoin his family. Whether he is successful or not forms the rest of the story.

Latest Movies on 1971 India Pakistan War

Raazi (2018)

Raazi Best Bollywood Movie of 2018

Raazi is the latest addition to the films based on India Pakistan 1971 war. Raazi starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in the lead roles.

The story of Raazi is about a Kashmiri girl, her father is already working as a spy for RAW but now he wants her to marry a Pakistani Soldier, so she can spy on Pakistani Army, secretly she is serving for her country as an undercover agent of RAW.

Romeo Akbar Walter (2019)

Romeo Akbar Walter in short RAW is another spy thriller film based on the 1971 war, starring John Abraham and Jackie Shroff in the lead roles. it is based on the life of an Indian spy Ravindra Kaushik AKA Tiger. Who was working as a major in the Pakistani Army, but he was a RAW undercover agent.

Sam Bahadur (2023)

Vicky Kaushal Sam Mankeshaw vs Real sam manekshaw

Sam Bahadur is the latest addition to films based on 71 War, It is based on the life of Sam Manekshaw, who played an important role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 from Pakistan.

Sam Bahadur is directed by Meghna Gulzar and Vicky Kaushal is playing the lead character of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

Over to You!

Unfortunately, the Indian audience doesn’t entertain the films featuring a war theme. Hence, there are hardly any major films made, which are based on the Indo-Pak War of 1971. Among the list itself, only Border got accolades from both the audience and the critics, but none of the other films got even close to this great Indian war film of all time.

I think it is because of the lack of market or trend for such films as well as the controversies that come attached to such sensitive events. However, I believe if the writers are encouraged and given the much-needed freedom they deserve, then a series of such war-themed films can be expected without attracting any sort of controversies.