16 Dec, 2019

Bollywood filmmakers Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Bhushan Kumar announced a film based on a supposed Indian Air Force airstrike in Balakot earlier this year and DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor had something to say about it.

The film is touted as a “tribute to the sons of India and their never-say-die spirit” in “a story that celebrates the accomplishments of the Indian Air Force”.

Soon after the film was announced, the DG ISPR was quick to tweet, “With due respect to [Wing Commander] Abhinandan as a soldier, yes the dream could only be fulfilled through Bollywood,” referring to the February 19 air strike which, acknowledged an Indian minister, killed no Pakistani soldier or citizen. International watchers also found loopholes in India's claims at the time.

Bhansali and Kumar's film is not unique. Bollywood producers scrambled to register jingoistic "patriotic" movie titles to reserve them for films in the future in the wake of the Pulwama attack and subsequent hostilities between Pakistan and India this year. Vivek Oberoi has also announced a film onWing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman titled Balakot – The True Story.