2 real-life incidents that loosely inspired plots of Shah Rukh Khan's Jawan

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalSep 11, 2023 | 18:44

2 real-life incidents that loosely inspired plots of Shah Rukh Khan's Jawan

Shah Rukh Khan's latest action flick, "Jawan," has raked in a staggering Rs 531 crore worldwide in just four days, making it the first movie in history to cross the 500-crore mark globally within its first week.

The film's remarkable success can be attributed to the positive word-of-mouth it has generated, thanks to its skillful blend of social issues and high-octane action, which has resonated deeply with fans.


One of the film's standout features is its storyline, which delves into crucial social matters. Jawan draws inspiration from real-life incidents to weave its narrative. In addition to addressing the issue of farmer suicides, the movie focuses on two other specific incidents that serve as its real-life inspirations.

Here are the two incidents:

Gorakhpur oxygen deaths

Jawan draws inspiration from the tragic incident at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, where 60 children lost their lives due to a shortage of oxygen. This heartbreaking event sent shockwaves across the nation and serves as a key element in the film's plot.

In the movie, Shah Rukh Khan portrays Azad, who leads a team of six women seeking revenge against corrupt bureaucrats responsible for the suffering of citizens through their corruption.

One of Azad's team members, Dr. Eram (Sania Malhotra), is a medical doctor who kidnaps the Health Minister after shooting him. This drastic action is taken to seek retribution for his negligence in managing the government hospital's health infrastructure, which resulted in the deaths of numerous children due to oxygen shortages.

This storyline in Jawan is loosely based on the 2017 incident at the BRD Government Hospital in Gorakhpur, where a lack of oxygen cylinders led to the tragic deaths of 60 children suffering from encephalitis. The government's investigation cleared Uttar Pradesh of any responsibility, instead blaming pediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, along with paramedical staff and medical institution clerks, for criminal negligence.


In the film, Dr Eram (Sania Malhotra) is similarly made a scapegoat and imprisoned for the children's deaths, while the government bureaucrats escape unscathed.

Bofors scandal

Some people have pointed out that the movie also draws parallels to the real-life Bofors scandal in a flashback sequence set in the 1980s. Vikram Rathore (Azad's father) serves as a commando in the Indian army and is assigned to lead a mission to eliminate a terrorist group.

During this mission, Vikram discovers that the weapons provided to the soldiers are malfunctioning, resulting in the deaths of previous soldiers sent to eliminate the terrorist group. Vikram holds the weapon supplier, Kaalie (Vijay Sethupathi), responsible for the malfunctioning weaponry and urges the government to terminate its contract with him.

This incident in Jawan has some similarities of events in 1986, coinciding with the Bofors scandal in India. In 1986, India signed a 1,437 crore deal with Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for the army.

A year later, in 1987, a Swedish radio channel alleged that the company had bribed several top Indian politicians and defense personnel to secure the contract. The scandal had a significant impact on the Rajiv Gandhi government, tarnishing his image considerably.


The similarities are not very striking but you can say that that the plot might be loosely inspired by the real-life incident.

In Jawan, while the government bureaucrats are not shown to be directly involved in the malfunctioning weaponry, the film suggests strong links between the ministers and Kaalie Gaikwad (Vijay Sethupathi).

To avoid giving away more spoilers for the movie, we encourage you to watch it for yourself. We leave you with a movie review.


Last updated: September 11, 2023 | 18:45
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