Rarely do we have movies that is based around Naval warfare in Indian cinema, apart from being a random subplot in some movie. In Hollywood, we do have movies like The Hunt For The Red October, K-19 The Widowmaker, Das Boot and others. However things will change now in Indian cinema, as what is purported as India’s first submarine movie, The Ghazi Attack. The movie is based on the real life incident of the mysterious sinking of Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi during the 1971 War, that the Indian army proclaims, is its doing. The Ghazi Attack will delves into this much discussed incident of our wars with our neighbouring country.
The Ghazi Attack is directed by debutant Sankalp, based on his own novel. Rana Daggubati ,Taapsee Pannu , Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni play the main leads in the movie, while Amitabh Bachchan turns narrator once again. The Ghazi Attack is scheduled to release on February 17, but before that, make sure you are a little bit updated about the real incident.
# The fate of Pakistani wartime submarine, PNS Ghazi, is said to one of the biggest unsolved wartime mysteries.
# PNS Ghazi was said to be the first fast-attack submarine of Pakistan Navy, which it had leased from USA.
# During the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, Ghazi was the only submarine operational in the conflict arena that was deployed in the war theatre to attack only heavy and major warships of the Indian Navy. It had attacked one of our ships INS Brahmaputra, torpedoing it with three missiles. Thankfully, the ship didn’t sunk.
# For its exploits in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, the submarine was in the way of lot of awards and medals.
# During the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, Ghazi was considered as the answer by Pakistan to take down India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikrant that had harboured itself at Vishakhapatnam. But by this time, PNS Ghazi was becoming obsolete and had equipment failures, aging issues and should have been retired. However the administrators stuck to their decision to send the submarine to take down INS Vikrant. However, it lost sight of Vikrant, which was near Andaman and Nicobar islands at the time, so the general desperately made another plans to mine the Visakhapatnam harbour.
# On 4 December 1971, PNS Ghazi sunk mysteriously with all 92 men on board, leaving not a single survivor. On 26 November 1971, Ghazi was expected to communicate with the Navy headquarters but did not communicate with its base. Strangely, it was Indian army who announce the disappearance of Ghazi, and not the Pakistani army.
# INS Rajput, led by Captain Inder Singh, was credited to have sunk the submarine. Inder Singh had already been warned by his seniors that Ghazi will be hovering around the Bay of Bengal near the Visakhapatnam bay. As per claims of the Indian army, the crew of INS Rajput observed disturbance on the surface of the ocean, and Inder Singh ordered two depth charges to be shot. The depth charges were said to have made contact with something and the result was deafening as per the witnesses. Though it was not confirmed then, but there are claims that the charges hit Ghazi thus sinking it. INS Rajput also suffered damages in the process, though to what extent was never revealed to the public. The Indian Army later awarded the crew of INS Rajput gallantry awards for this feat.
# However Pakistani army, along with some Indian personnel as well, beg to differ with the Indian army’s version. They claim the reason for the sinking to submarine’s internal issues like battery explosion or the detonation of their own missile. Some even say more than the depth charges sent by INS Rajput, it’s the aftermath that impacted Ghazi.
# An independent testimony from an Egyptian Navy officer, who claimed that the Indian ships were docked at the Visakhapatnam harbour when the explosions from the supposed Indian sinking of Ghazi occurred, and that “it was not until about an hour after the explosion, that two Indian naval ships were observed leaving harbour”. In 2012, The Express Tribune’s Pakistani investigative journalists interviewed former US Navy crew members who were given the sonar pictures and sketches of the sunken vessel to study. In their findings they claim, “an explosion in the Forward Torpedo Room (FTR) destroyed the Ghazi.” This view is also shared by Indian journalist Sandeep Unnithan, who specializes in military and strategic analysis.
So what exactly happened to PNS Ghazi? Did INS Rajput actually sunk the submarine, or was it more of an internal issue? How much of the truth will feature in The Ghazi Attack? Guess we have to wait till Friday to find out….