Filmmaker Sankalp Reddy is all set to release India’s first underwater film, The Ghazi Attack. It is a multi-lingual film, which will depict a lesser-known naval war India and Pakistan engaged in.
Originally in Telugu, the film stars Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu and Kay Kay Menon. Amitabh Bachchan has lent his voice for the Hindi version. The Ghazi Attack follows PNS Ghazi, the submarine sent by Pakistan to hold onto East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The sinking of the Ghazi under mysterious circumstances has been a contentious issue ever since.
While there have been multiple contradictory facts recorded about the incident and the real reason for the sinking of PNS Ghazi still is contested by both countries, the episode marked a significant moment in the war. Sankalp Reddy’s film, produced by Dharma Productions and PVP Cinema, is about celebrating the fearless patriotism of the Indian Navy.
Just how much The Ghazi Attack will help clear the air around one of the most secretive episodes of 1971 will be a mystery until its release. Meanwhile, let us revisit the disputed details of the incident.
The Underwater War
It was when refugees started trickling into India that East Pakistan’s struggle to break away from Pakistan came to a boil. It was deemed necessary by the Indian military to step in for the Bengalis. As a result, the Indian aircraft carrier HMS Vikrant was shifted from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Visakhapatnam.
It is said that it was this that made West Pakistan rethink its naval strategies in a way that could destroy the Indian aircraft carrier and its destruction was considered an unavoidable necessity for Pakistan to win the war. After much thought, it was realized that the only ship that could be deployed was the PNS Ghazi despite its old and deteriorating equipment. It was on November 14, 1971 that the Ghazi set sail from Karachi.
According to some reports, the Indian Naval Command had already predicted the deployment of PNS Ghazi, following which they planned to deceive the Pakistani side into believing that they were indeed headed to destroy Vikrant. They decided to send Vikrant to a point that was far enough from the Eastern fleet for the Pakistani ships to effectively combat. However, it was submarine INS Rajput that was eventually deployed by the Indian side to destroy Ghazi. It was set off on December 4 when Pakistani spies had fallen prey to the planned deception.
Even to this day, the events remain hazy. We do not really know the exact sequence of events. What we do know, however, is that it resulted in the mysterious sinking of the Ghazi and a large explosion was reportedly heard by locals living around the harbor.
According to the Indian naval authorities, the sinking of the Ghazi was a result of Indian combat. Reportedly, when INS Rajput was on its way close to where the Pakistani submarine was anticipated to be, the captain dropped two depth charges before moving ahead. It was moments later a loud explosion was heard at the spot.
Pakistan, on the other hand, did not admit to India’s role in the sinking of Ghazi. According to their records, the Ghazi, because of its technical glitches, had sunk much before the Indian Navy had made its way close to the submarine.
The events leading to Ghazi’s sinking remains debatable. However, the sinking of the Ghazi was crucial to India’s success in the war.
If you haven't watched the trailer of The Ghazi Attack, here it is:
Also, don't forget to read our review of the film on February 17, 2017.