Vicky Kaushal-starrer Uri: The Surgical Strike has perhaps been the only film among the recent raft of high-profile politico-historical releases to have come up trumps in virtually every way - receiving rave reviews from critics and from fans, and also faring very well at the box office. And now, it has become somewhat of an icon of this year's Republic Day too.
Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi played-off the film's now iconic 'How's the Josh?' catch-phrase while inaugurating the National Museum of Indian Cinema at Mumbai, a number of other senior leaders in the NDA have also followed suit, including Raksha Mantris present and past, Nirmala Sitharaman and Manohar Parrikar. And also on Republic Day, union minister Smriti Irani has gone a step further, enabling the people of Amethi to watch the film by screening using a mobile digital movie theater.
In a video that has been posted of the screening by the Amethi BJP, Smriti Irani can be seen having a video-call with the viewers before the film begins. In the video, she remarks on the conception of this idea, suggesting that people of the constituency had asked her to do something such that people could watch the film, hence the screening. She also transmits a message from Vicky Kaushal and praises the forces and their efforts.
The BJP's post reads:
Uri: The Surgical Strike:
The film that shows the bravery and might of the country's Jawans is being screened via mobile digital theatre in Amethi on the august occasion of Republic Day following the efforts of minister Smriti Irani. This is something to be proud of.
Smriti Irani shared this video as well, writing:
"It is with a sense of pride that #UriTheSurgicalStrike is now being screened across Amethi. When else but Republic Day to commence this initiative. Jai Hind ki Sena 🙏"
Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman had watched the film with war veterans in Bengaluru, and the screening was fever-pitched, with 'How's the Josh?' and 'Indian Army Zindabad' chants breaking out at the end:
Goa CM Manohar Parrikar also asked 'How's the Josh?' at the inauguration function of the Atal Setu in Panaji:
According to trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the film based on the September 2016 Surgical Strike by Indian forces against terror launchpads in Pakistani soil is primed to cross the Rs 200 crore gross mark:
Smriti Irani is expected to take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha election for the Amethi constituency in 2019 as well, having run him close in the Nehru-Gandhi bastion in the 2014 polls. She has regularly visited the constituency, taking up a number of initiatives there.