Nationalism in “Lagaan”

The film Lagaan shows the happenings of an Indian society that is being forced to pay a lagaan to the British empire in India.  We see one brave or what some would call senseless character stand up to one of the British officials.  After this occurs and the bet is made to play a game of cricket for the amount of lagaan owed this year.  When the character Bhuvan accepts the bets his peers become furious.  They yell and scream at him, and they say that it was not right for him to speak for them all.  They believe it was wrong of him to accept this bet without consulting anyone else and they are not happy to say the least.  Once neighboring colonies hear of this and realize the game will also affect their lagaan cost they become enraged as well.  During one scene of the film we see a group of folks come looking for Bhuvan and wish to cause trouble.  When Bhuvan’s own people realize what is going on they quickly intervene and stop the upset group from doing anything.  This showed the audience that even though they are mad at Bhuvan for doing such a thing they will not allow others to harm him.  This scene made me think of nationals in a smaller sense of the word.  While his own community was bothered with his actions they would not allow anything bad happen to him.  This incident could be applied to the entire word or understanding of nationalism.  While the community did not completely agree with what he had done that does not mean they are going to abandon him.  They will stay by his side through thick and thin because they know the importance of unity.  If they would have allowed the neighboring group to beat up one of their own where would that have gotten them?  They would be torn apart from the inside out and the British empire would have won.  When they all come together as a nation and pull resources together they have a much greater chance of not only surviving, but thriving in this system that does its best to defeat them.  They have pride and stand up for what they believe in, and their nation and it shows.  They eventually defeat the British and the nation celebrates and grows stronger as a whole.


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