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Sara Ali Khan on Ae Watan Mere Watan - It's not just the coming-of-age story of Usha Mehta; it could be mine too | Exclusive

In an exclusive interview with OTTplay on Ae Watan Mere Watan, Sara Ali Khan calls for inner strength and courage.

Sara Ali Khan on Ae Watan Mere Watan - It's not just the coming-of-age story of Usha Mehta; it could be mine too | Exclusive
Sara Ali Khan/Instagram

Last Updated: 06.19 PM, Mar 21, 2024


Sara Ali Khan's latest film, Ae Watan Mere Watan, has finally dropped on Prime Video at midnight. The film is based on the real-life personality of Usha Mehta, the freedom fighter who used the power of radio during the 1942 Quit India Movement. Although the film has drawn criticism and mixed reactions, in an exclusive interview with OTTplay, Sara spoke about how she sees the film affecting the youth of today.

Sara Ali Khan's perspective on Ae Watan Mere Watan

The actor told us, "I think that when it comes to the Indian freedom struggle, there is a slightly limited view of what people think the sacrifices made were. It wasn't just masculine brute strength. It wasn't just gunfire. It wasn't just physical. There was femininity; there were women. There was mental thought, there was mental sacrifice, and there was emotional strength. There was fortitude, and there was a lot more. I think what Usha represents is that 'boondh boondh se banta hai sagar' (drops form the ocean). Aaj ke tareek mein bhi (even on today's date), it's not just about 1942. Even today, there are so many people who are not pushing the envelope because they are like koi aur kar lega (they think someone else will do it)."


Further sharing about Mehta as an inspirational figure, Sara stated, "What Usha's story does is inspire that agar sab apna apna kaam karenge tab hi cheeze aage hogi. (What Usha's story does is inspire that if everyone does their own work, only then will things progress.) We are all together as a unit as a country responsible. I think that what it tries to do is it tries to invoke that level of sacrificing spirit that every individual should have in whatever field they're in, especially women, especially us as a country, because we have the fire and we have the spirit. It's just all here, and it needs to be out there."

Personal impact and growth for Sara Ali Khan

When asked about how the film has affected her as an individual, the Atrangi Re actor went on to say, "I think it is the need of the hour. Because it's not just the coming-of-age story of Usha Mehta, I think it could be the coming-of-age story of Sara Ali Khan. And that's what I'm really hoping for it to be. I think that the time has come for me to be able to do different kinds of work. I think the time has come where I don't need to play on the backfoot anymore. I need to have strength, conviction, and confidence in my own work. And I think this film gives me the opportunity to be able to tell a story that I really think deserves to be told."

While hoping that the film does help in bringing the relevance of India's freedom struggle, Sara added, "I would really like to hope so because I think anonymity, this idea of gumnaami, uss chakkar mein bohot si aise kahaaniyaan hai jo mujhe bhi nahi pata hai. (In this idea of anonymity, there are many stories that even I am not aware of.) And I think that it is so important for these stories to be told, because in them lies a bravery that is very relevant even today. Even today, we as people are searching for things outside of us when we have them within us. You have to derive your own strength; this is a story of that. This is the story of pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box. This is a story of bravery that doesn't need biceps—a story of inner confidence, fortitude, and perseverance." 

A call to embrace inner strength and courage

"This is a story of karo ya maro (do or die), and of course the stakes will be different, kyunki hum azaad hai. We are Swatantra Bharat already. So I can't take you to a space where you have to imagine that we don't have freedom because you can't do that. But I'm saying even beyond that, no matter what the stakes are or what your personal ambitions are, do or die should be everybody's mantra. I think this film can inspire women, children, and the youth of the country to adopt this mantra even now," concludes the actor.

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