Vishwatma: Bollywood’s Flashiest Story of Patriotism in Pardes

Bollywood

Vishwatma: Bollywood’s Flashiest Story of Patriotism in Pardes

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

n Diwali Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge when Amrish Puri’s Chaudhary Baldev Singh walks the streets of London with “Ghar aaja pardesi” playing in the background, it made many a NRI weep. Had the film released today, in an age of hyper-nationalism, his unfading bond with his desh and mitti would have made him the perfect desi boy to Priyanka Chopra’s desi girl.

But three years prior to being the adarsh pardesi – feeding pigeons at Trafalgar Square and reminiscing about Punjab – Simran’s bauji was a naughty NRI. In Rajiv Rai’s 1992 cult classic Vishwatma, Puri played Azghar Jurhad, a suave Kenyan-Indian businessman. He is a reputed figure in the African nation but discreetly operates a notorious criminal organisation in India called the Blue Panther. Trimurti Films: 1. Marvel Studios: 0.

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