A film made a year after Haqeeqat, in 1965, flagged off the nationalist career of Manoj Kumar, the undisputed pitr of cinematic patriotism. This film was Shaheed, a black-and-white retelling of the Bhagat Singh story, which, 40 years later, inspired Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's 2006 hit, Rang de Basanti. The debt is acknowledged in the title of the later film which refers to a song from Shaheed, 'Mera rang de basanti chola' and one of the notable innovations of Shaheed is the Punjabi inflection of the new patriotism, showcased in the song 'Pagdi sambhal jatta' sung by Mahendra Kapoor.
Manoj Kumar's nationalist oeuvre defined the possibilities of the patriotic Hindi film.
One possibility was the anti-colonial nationalist film. Shaheed was Manoj Kumar's take on colonial deshbhakti. Since then, in the past decade, we have had Lagaan, Mangal Pandey and Rang de Basanti in this sub-genre. All three films have Aamir Khan as the main male protagonist, which makes him, along with Sunny Deol, an unlikely claimant to Manoj Kumar's persona of Bharat.