Today, the entire nation is celebrating Kargil Vijay Divas to mark the success of Operation Vijay and honour the Kargil war heroes as India took command of the high outposts which suffered Pakistani intrusion. Fought for more than 60 days, the war ended on July 26 with India regaining control of all the occupied territory. 

On this proud occasion, we talk to filmmaker JP Dutta who had produced and directed the war-drama LoC Kargil (2003), based on the Kargil War fought between India and Pakistan. His next release is Paltan starring Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Harshvardhan Rane, Gurmeet Choudhary, Siddhant Kapoor, Luv Sinha and Rohit Roy among others, with Dutta’s daughter Nidhi as the executive producer.

MyNation: On Kargil Vijay Diwas, what message would you like to give to the jawans?

JP Dutta: To the boys guarding our borders and keeping us and our families safe while they are away from theirs, for that sacrifice, no ‘Thank You’ will ever be enough. And I would like to say to my country, “We don’t know them all but we owe them all! So let’s not forget our soldiers.

Why did you do a film on the Kargil war?

I had a friend from the army who came down and told me exactly what had happened during the war, and how 99 of our boys were shot in the eye. Then I started my research and met the families and those wounds were so raw and still new. The stories and the facts made me realise that this story had to reach the audiences and these boys had to be immortalised on screen forever so that anytime any generation wants to know what happened in Kargil, all they need to do is watch LoC.

Do Pakistani artistes who act in Bollywood movies hurt the sentiments of the armed forces?

This has been talked about for a while now. I can only speak for myself when I say, why should we do something that would hurt the sentiments of the boys standing out there guarding our borders and facing the enemy? It would definitely hurt their sentiments and it’s not something we should do.

Why do you do war films?

I make stories that touch my heart. I come from a background of a lot of armed forces in my uncles and of course my brother, who was in the Air Force, but in the end, I think the stories choose don’t choose them.

How do you describe your love for the army and what inspires you tirelessly to make such great war movies?

When I’m shooting these, my only thought is—if our boys can do what they do for us under the conditions they do it in, then that should give me and my crew enough motivation to make a film for them!

Your next release is Paltan. Will it be the last of your war movies?

When I made Border, I had told media that I will make a trilogy, and today with Paltan I complete that. As far as making more war films is concerned, I don’t really can never say never I guess because there are so many heroes and so many stories to tell!

Paltan comes after a decade. Why did you take so long to make it?

There were personal and professional reasons... I had lost my dad... and I was also waiting on a few permissions and I guess sometimes when there is so much change around you, you sit back and think, and then when you are ready and decide it’s time.

What is your favourite patriotic song?

My favourite song is a song that was written for my first film Sarhad, and the lyrics were written by Sahir-Ludhianvi. They went something like this, “Bomb yahan gire ya wahan, kokh dharti ki baanjh hoti haiYeh bomb nahin gire toh behtar haiAapke aur hamare gharon mein shama jalti rahe toh behtar hai…”