The Ghazi Attack
The Ghazi Attack posterFacebook/Dharma Productions

Dharma Productions — Karan Johar's production house that generally makes larger-than-life films to cater to lovers of romantic and family dramas — has just released the trailer of the KK Menon, Rana Daggubati and Tapsee Pannu-starrer, The Ghazi Attack, which is possibly India's first film on submarine warfare, and also possibly the last film to star recently-deceased actor Om Puri.

However, soon after the release of the trailer, Dharma Productions saw a different kind of warfare on its facebook page: People kept asking how such a secret mission or incident could have so much information about it come to the public domain. And then the knowledgeable weighed in, making for really interesting conversation on a chapter of Indo-Pak history that still remains shrouded in mystery.

Secret or not?

The film — directed by Sankalp Reddy and based on the book Blue Fish: The War Beneath — saw its trailer come in for some quick criticism, with people asking on Dharma Productions' Facebook page how so much detail about the operation was made available to the makers of the flick if the operation was such a hush-hush affair. 

But then, information on the operation is freely available on the internet. Wikipedia, with its umpteen links on the subject, is always a good place to start. Then go on to interview surviving soldiers who were part of the operation in some capacity or the other, and you might have a treasure trove of information on your hands.

Heck, someone might even let loose juicy tidbits, like how US soldiers during the first Gulf War in Iraq — a teetotaller state — used to get bottles of mouthwash filled with alcohol that resembled the original contents!

Real story or fictionalised recounting?

This is the second big debate in the comments section of the trailer. Of course, some are pointing out that the eponymous PNS Ghazi sank mysteriously, or that it was no submarine, but INS Rajput that sunk PNS Ghazi. It was Alok Mathur — a former commander of the Indian Navy, according to his Facebook profile — that put this debate to rest.

He wrote in the comments: "It is a fact that Pakistan had positioned PNS Ghazi on India's east coast with the sole aim of snaring INS Vikrant. Little did they know that Vikrant had been removed to the Andaman islands area much earlier.

Unfortunately Ghazi, which was operating close to Visakhapatnam, was detected by the Indian destroyer INS Rajput as she (Rajput) was leaving harbour. Rajput attacked Ghazi with depth charge and sank her a few miles outside Vizag harbour. A lot of items subsequently picked up by the Indian salvage team are on display at the Naval museum inside INS Circars, the Naval base in Visakhapatnam. [sic]"

Watch the trailer here: