As politics evolved in India, so did films based on political realities. While Emergency inspired satire and rebellion, today is more about aam aadmi and his DIY spirit. This election season, we bring you the 10 most politically inspired films which came out of Bollywood.
Kissa Kursi Ka (1977): This film reportedly took potshots at Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi. The film had spoofed Sanjay's plans to manufacture automobiles. No wonder, the film was banned during the Emergency. Later, it was reported that Sanjay Gandhi burnt the film's prints. The film starred Shabana Azmi, Raj Babbar, Utpal Dutt and Rehana Sultan
New Delhi Times (1986): The Shashi Kapoor-starrer exposed the nexus between politicians and media barons. Kapoor's sensitive performance in the film got him a National Award that year. The film was directed by Ramesh Sharma. The film tells the story of an honest journalist Vikas Pande (Shashi Kapoor) from Ghazipur who moves to Delhi to run a newspaper, and uncovers a political assassination.
Main Azad Hoon (1989): A common man (Amitabh Bachchan) takes on a fictitious persona (Azad), created by a journalist (played by Shabana Azmi), and becomes the lovable leader of Rajanagar. So much so that politicians start considering him a threat. In the end, he jumps from a 30-storey building to prove his love for people and leaves behind a strong message.
Madras Cafe (2013): Shoojit Sircar's Madras Cafe is about ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, which ultimately leads to the assassination of an Indian prime minister. The storyline was similar to the real life LTTE imbroglio that led to Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. John Abraham plays Major Vikram, an intelligence officer on covert operation to broker peace in the war-torn country.
Gulaal (2009): This Anurag Kashyap movie starring Raj Singh Chaudhary, Kay Kay Menon, Deepak Dobriyal, Mahie Gill, and Ayesha Mohan is a gripping tale on student politics. The film was lauded unanimously by the critics and was screened at the 2009 London Film Festival.
Satta (2003): Anuradha (Raveena Tandon) plays a Delhi girl who abhors politics and netas. She marries a corrupt politician Yashwant Vardhe (Atul Kulkarni) who is later jailed for his misdeeds, Anuradha has to fill in his shoes. The film won Raveena a National Award for best actress that year.
Aandhi (1975): The film directed by Gulzar and written by Kamleshwar is about a prominent politician Aarti Devi (played by Suchitra Sen) who happens to run into her ex-husband (played by Sanjeev Kumar) while campaigning for re-election. Reportedly, Suchitr's character was modelled on Indira Gandhi.
Rann (2010): The political thriller by Ram Gopal Varma stars Amitabh Bachchan, Mohnish Behl, Sudeep and Paresh Rawal in main roles. To raise his channel's TRPs, the son of a CEO of a television company joins hands with a corrupt politician (Paresh Rawan) to frame the prime minister in a terror attack.
Raajneeti (2010): Directed by Prakash Jha, the film stars Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead roles. Ranbir Kapoor plays Samar Pratap who's about to return to his Irish-American girlfriend, Sarah, in the US and obtain a PhD, when his politician father is shot dead. Inspired by Mahabharat, the film shows how vengeful politics can be.
Nayak (2001): A journalist (Anil Kapoor) raises some uncomfortable questions in a live TV interview with chief minister Balraj Chauhan (played by Amrish Puri). The neta challenges the journo to step into his shoes for a day. The idea of an aam aadmi turning into a politician was loved by the audience. In a rare instance of real-following-reel, Arvind Kejriwal's ascent was compared to the film by his supporters.