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Is Mission Majnu based on a true story? Exploring the real history behind the Netflix flick


As Mission Majnu premieres on Netflix this January, viewers are wondering whether it is based on a true story.

WARNING: Mission Majnu spoilers to be discussed throughout

The Hindi action film released to Netflix on January 20, 2023 with mixed-to-positive reviews.

Set in the 1970s, the film’s action centers on an undercover spy tasked with exposing Pakistan’s developing nuclear weapons program. With a plot grounded in reality – Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was established in 1972 by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – you might be curious to know whether Mission Majnu is based on a true story. Let’s take a look.

Is Mission Majnu based on a true story?

Partly. While the film is inspired by real events, the story follows Amandeep Singh (Sidharth Malhotra) who is a fictional character.

Mission Majnu is set in the years following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. This centered in the brewing conflict in East Pakistan, which would become Bangladesh. Bangladesh declared its independence, supported by India, in March 1971 but would not secure victory until later that year, in December.

Throughout the early Seventies, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agents were obtaining information on Pakistan’s developing nuclear program. RAW is the foreign intelligence service of India. The film follows a RAW agent during India’s first successful nuclear test in 1974 as they try to gain information on Pakistan’s developing program. The most likely operation that mirrors the events of Mission Majnu is Operation Kahuta.

Photo by Yasbant Negi/The India Today Group via Getty Images

Mission Majnu star says film is ‘inspired by true events’

The Bollywood film’s leading actor, Sidharth Malhotra, has spoken about seeking historical accuracy in Mission Majnu.

“This is a film inspired by true events. It’s about an important mission that RAW did,” Malhotra said when describing the Netflix movie.

When faced with criticism over the portrayal of the Indo-Pakistani conflict, Malhotra reportedly added: “There is no personal animosity with anyone, these are just documented historical points, which we will never get complete facts of, so for that, you need to establish possibly certain characters in an x ​​amount of time.”

That reassurance did not quell some of the criticism levied at Mission Majnu about what was included in the film.

There were some real events that were left out of Mission Majnu

While the context of the events surrounding Mission Majnu is real, there are several details omitted from the storytelling.

A key detail omitted, which has never been confirmed, was an alleged rumor that then-Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, spilled state secrets of the RAW agency’s network in Pakistan to Zia-Ul Haq, the country’s then-chief martial law administrator . Desai reportedly detested the RAW agency. He even cut their funding by 30 percent in 1977. A central figure in the real history and movie adaptation, this detail has been seen as a crucial part of Desai’s motivations.

You can watch Mission Majnu on Netflix now.

Screenshot from Netflix India, Mission Majnu | Official Trailer

In other news, Is Mission Majnu based on a true story? Exploring the real history behind the Netflix flick

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