Patriotism could be called a fine feeling cherished by everyone, for the well being of one's country.It is similar to one's love and attachment for one's parents or even more than that.One's patriotic ground turns firm and robust when one's country faces threat to its sovereignty or when its independence is under pressure from imperialist forces.To be ruled by others at the cost of one's freedom is worse than serfdom and suppression.When a country is suppressed,enslaved and ruled by others it results in untold agony and outbursts of resistance letting out a collective, clarion cry for freedom.It is then the natives' love for their country deepens its roots for a firm resolve, to guard their soil above everything else.Films quite often pay encomiums to the spirit of patriotism, in the form of exemplary themes,stories and characters.Tamil cinema has shown consistent enthusiasm and involvement in this regard.
When one's country enjoys independence and freedom,the greatest effort sets in, to look forward to rejoicing moments of prosperity and peace and protect one's geographical frontiers against corrupt and divisive forces that begin to function with vested interests. When the native rulers at times, make the people feel that their post independent era is no better or even worse than that of the colonial rulers,the true patriots begin to simmer in rage and react vehemently, to the prevailing practice of injustice that dampens the presence of independence.Patriotism does not say goodbye, when a country becomes independent.On the other hand,it is a sustained sense of fulfillment when one feels that everything goes on on well ever,in one's country, thereby making the concept of freedom more meaningful and rewarding. Pre-independent years in India witnessed the united voice of patriotism in ousting the colonial forces;post independent years have propelled patriotic fervour against selfish power mongers, settling their personal scores through money,muscle and the might of governance.
Tamil films on patriotism, released just before and a decade after independence,dwelt mostly on the defence forces devotedly guarding the territories, from cross border aggression by neighbouring countries.There were also a few impressive shows of freedom fighters, through films like Veera Pandia Kattabomman,Siva Gangai Seemai and Kappalottiya Thamizhan released during the Nineteen Sixties and these films carried substantial relevance to the mood of freedom.A couple of films like Padhi Bakthi, Rathathilagam and Paarthaal Pasitheerum,paid grand tributes to the service and sacrifices of soldiers, languishing at the defence borders.In a majority of films, the greatest Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan was seen adding glory to the heroes of patriotism by his emotional percolation into such characters. He did this not only by adorning the protagonist's role in patriotic films, but also proudly facilitating the spirit of patriotism through a scenic or song sequence of that kind in any film, on other family or social themes such as Baratha Vilas and Rajapart Rangadhurai.
Heroes like Vijayakanth and Sarathkumar have time and again carried on their struggle for a brighter and more powerful India,through their repeated role performance in a number of films. Rajinikanth's Raanuva Veeran,Saratkumar's Captain and Yei, Vijayakanth's Sandhanakkatru,and Satyaraj's Thai Naadu have narrated story lines directly related to the experiences of army men. There was also an army related story background in Prabu Deva's Villu starring Vijay.Most of these films tried to pinpoint negative tendencies among some army men that transformed them into anti nationals at the cost of their fundamental patriotic requirements.
Social inequalities,neglect of those who fought for the freedom of India,promotion of deliberate injustice for the sake of personal aggrandizement,have served as powerful themes and have dramatically supplemented the patriotic voice, in a number of films and the proud fact is this kind of films are more popular with the audience at all times.It comes as a comprehensive story format of social concern and this is how some of the leading heroes create their mass base for success formula.This is how MGR became a people's hero.Almost all his films either completely or at least partially, formed a battleground against social evils and injustice.In this way,MGR became an all time hero and a stalwart voice of patriotism.
As a director of the new generation,it is Shankar who has taken the lead in projecting social concern as synonymous of patriotism.His constant and compulsive line of thinking against corruption and injustice, places him as a front liner among the new wave patriots patrolling the field for a clean up.What is striking about this new tend in patriotism is the passion for pruning one's home through a simultaneous tone of sympathy for the personally and socially affected lot and through anger and force displayed in the cleaning process.
Starting from his very first film Gentleman,Shankar has steadily grown as the brand master of the most sensational theme of political and social corruption being handled astutely by the concerted, anti corruption lobby.His Indian was the story of an erstwhile freedom fighter and a true patriot whose disgust against enormous corruption took him to the extent of terminating the whole corrupt lot and a single knife became the tool, picked up for the cleaning process.His film Mudhalvan resorted to a more positive and pragmatic approach, but finally showed the patriot embracing the firmer,manipulative Machiavellian mode to eradicate the evil political face.Shankar's other film Annian showed the patriot as a case of paranoid, split personality,choosing a much cruder method, for extinguishing the social and national enemies from within.His film Sivaji, like his Gentleman,focused on positive intelligence as a powerful ploy against the perpetrators of corruption and social injustice.
When it comes to new generation actors,it is action king Arjun who looks up high as the proudest Patriot of Tamil cinema.Be it the titles of his films or the roles he has played so far, his conviction has placed him as the topmost among Tamil heroes,saluting their country's image and its flag with dignity and gratitude.Even from his earliest films like Sankar Guru and Pratap,Arjun has stuck to the position of a hard core fighter against the wrong side players spoiling the peace and happiness of the place they dominate.Titles of his films like Jai Hind,Thaayin Manikkodi,Vandhe Madhram straight away take us to the patriotic zone. Arjun deserves a singularly commendable position in Tamil Cinema, for powerfully presenting and representing the sense of well being, cherished by all Indians, in each of his films.He could be rightly called the Indian of Tamil Cinema.
Films on patriotism would be perennially powerful as a thought provoking exhibit of heroism,dedication and sacrifice.A periodical portrayal of patriotic values on the big screen becomes a prerequisite for reinforcing the ethical foundation of every nation.The quality of life of all citizens of a country needs to be augmented and enriched by those who take oaths in the name of their conscience,to govern.Those who govern with qualms and ethical norms would ever remain as the truest patriots,inspiring the people who they govern.In a country where the citizens are inspired by valued governance,everyone shares the mood of patriotism towards the over all development of their country.