March 5, 2024
Raj Kapoor, the producer and director of the movie Sangam is hailed as one of the great directors in Indian Movie industry. This 1964 Movie , produced, directed and edited by Raj Kapoor in 1964, was his first film in color, and was also the first film which had a brief background of the Indian Air Force and contains much footage of IAF aircraft in color from the 1960s. What stands out in this movie is an unusual and unmistakable attention to detail. The film is basically a love triangle plot, with one of the actors playing the role of an IAF pilot who goes MIA during the India- China War of 1962.Canberras lined up .

Pilot and Navigator board the Canberra

Raj Kapoor plays a Canberra Pilot who volunteers for a supply drop mission in a Dakota, and gets shot down during the mission. he goes “MIA” and is also awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously (a takeoff on the “Posthumous” PVC awarded to Maj D S Thapa, who also went MIA during the 1962 War, and subsequently turned up as a POW with the Chinese).

FSA01.jpg (7245 bytes) onl.gif (842 bytes)The ramp at the Lohegaon shows a line up of Vampires with Canberras in the distance.

The movie has great footage of Canberras on the ramp, taking off, Dakotas at a forward airfield and footage of Dakota on the illfated supply drop. With good effects of AA Fire thrown in, the war footage of the movie comes out the best for its time. More authentic than the Nineties hit “Border”.

FSA04.jpg (8964 bytes) FSA05.jpg (7954 bytes)
FSA07.jpg (7465 bytes) FSA06.jpg (9477 bytes)

A Memorable shot during in the movie was “In your face” footage of a Canberra taking off, the pilot waves thru the cockpit at the camera as the sleek silver bomber roars down the runway to takeoff into the blue skies. The distinctive features of the bomber can be clearly seen. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only existing footage of the Canberras in the 60s available in Color.

FSA08.jpg (13518 bytes) The Mission:

When Raj Kapoor produced the movie in 1964, the only contemporary conflict that independent india had fought in was the 1962 Indo China War, and the Indian Air Force never used its combat arms in this war. A Stickler for accuracy, the war situation potrays a situation from that short but bloody conflict.

Great shots of Dakota HJ220 at a forward base, taking off and flying the supply mission. The pilot orders the crew to bale out after the aircraft after getting hit by AA fire and continues the supply drop. but before the pilot could complete the supply drop, the Dakota flies into a low mountain and blows up .

The first temptation for someone producing a “Top Gun” movie would be to have Gnat Vs Sabres Air Combat scenarios. If no conflict had occurred, the temptation would be to create a fictious one. However fortunately this did not happen with this movie.

Also used in this particular movie was the Republic Day Rehearsal to shoot the award of the Param Vir Chakra Scene.

FSA09.jpg (10933 bytes)
FSA10.jpg (8972 bytes) FSA11.jpg (9181 bytes)
Uniforms: Another aspect of the movie is it gives a colorful glimpse behind the various uniforms worn during the 60s. Closely following the RAF Uniforms Pattern during World War Two. Seen from L to R is actor Raj Kapoor wearing the Winter Uniform, Canberra flying Uniform, Transport Pilots flying suit and Summer working uniform.
FSU001.jpg (6460 bytes)

FSU002.jpg (7441 bytes)

FSU003.jpg (8148 bytes)

FSU004.jpg (8309 bytes)

More Video Capture Images can be seen at Nick Shah’s Site on the Indian Air Force.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *