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Mumbai. Abhishek Dudhaiya, director of the film ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’, says that the story of the film reminds him of an incident related to his grandmother’s real life. About 300 women from a village in Bhuj, including her grandmother, played a key role in the construction of the damaged airstrip during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.
This film is based on a true story related to bravery, patriotism and determination. The film shows Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, in charge of the Indian Air Force’s Bhuj airport in 1971, facing challenges and building a damaged airstrip with the help of about 300 women from a village in Madhapur. Veteran actor Ajay Devgn will be seen in the role of Vijay Karnik in the film.
Abhishek Dudhaiya said – In Bhuj this story is narrated as a folktale
Abhishek Dudhaiya has written the story of this film along with Raman Kumar, Ritesh Shah and Pooja Bhavoria. This is Dudhaiya’s first film as a director. He has previously directed television serials like ‘Ehsaas’, ‘Agneepath’, ‘Sindoor Tere Naam Ka’ and ‘Umeed Naye Subah Ki’. Abhishek Dudhaiya said in an exclusive interview to PTI-Bhasha, ‘In Bhuj this story is narrated as a folk tale. My grandmother Lakshmi Parmar was 35 at the time, she was one of the 300 women who helped build the Air Force airstrip and I had heard many stories about it from her. These women, without caring about their lives, helped Karnik in building an airstrip during the war.
The director said that through this film, he wants to reach out to young audiences who do not know much about the 1971 war. Abhishek said, ‘I knew it would prove to be an expensive film as it is a war based film. Many people suggested that I should make small films first and ‘Bhuj’ should be my tenth film. The task was huge, but I was sure I could make a film on such an inspiring story and didn’t want to miss this opportunity.
Apart from Karnik, before making the film, Abhishek spoke to 60 women who helped in the construction of the airstrip in 1971, who are still alive. Abhishek wanted to give a real look to the story of the film. His grandmother had passed away 10 years ago.
This film is a great example of women empowerment
Abhishek said that this film is a great example of women empowerment. Some women even ransacked their homes to help Vijay Karnik rebuild the airstrip. Keeping the spirit of service to the nation paramount, women performed this impossible task. According to Abhishek, Karnik and he believed that Ajay Devgan would be the better choice for this character.
Talking about the experiences of working with Ajay Devgan, Abhishek said, ‘Ajay sir watched a lot of videos of Karnik ji to understand the basic things related to the story of the film. He also met them to understand how all this happened. When someone like Ajay sir supports you, there is more responsibility and pressure. I consider myself lucky that I got a chance to work with him in my first film.
‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ has been released on Disney Plus Hotstar VIP on Friday. Apart from Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Amy Virk, Nora Fatehi and Sharad Kelkar have also played important roles in the film. Abhishek said that his next film will be based on the life of Param Vir Chakra winner Captain Bana Singh.
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