BY VISHAL GULATI
Palampur (Himachal Pradesh): Twenty-two years have passed, but time has not healed wounds of this elderly couple whose Indian Army officer son sacrificed his life while fighting with the enemy in icy heights at an altitude of 16,000 feet in the 1999 Kargil War.
Now the biography of their son, Captain Vikram Batra, portraying in Tamil director Vishnu Vardhan’s film ‘Shershaah’ that is all set to release on Amazon Prime Video on August 12, a real tribute to a Kargil hero.
The couple told IANS on Sunday that it is the proud moment for them and the film is a real tribute to a soldier, who sacrificed his life for the nation and has a huge fan following across the globe, including Pakistan, for his valour.
“We are proud to see a war historical film that portrays our son’s real-life story, in fact struggle, that begins from his early childhood to reaching the IMA (Indian Military Academy) and finally getting inducted into the Indian Army,” an emotional but upbeat G.L. Batra, 77, the father of late Captain Batra, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for leading one of the toughest operations during the Kargil War, told IANS.
He said the movie, the first memoir of his son, is a real tribute to a Kargil hero. The producer has done a lot of research on his life.
“But we certainly feel that there is a much delay in documenting the memoir of a martyr. If it has been made within two-four years of the Kargil War, it would have been more appropriate. We still feel proud that the director has made a biopic on the life of our Kargil War hero son,” he added.
Actors Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani will be seen in Karan Johar produced ‘Shershaah’.
Batra, who retired from the state government and settled in this tea garden town, about 220 km from the state capital Shimla, said his son has a huge fan following across the globe.
“As per my knowledge, Captain Vikram Batra commands huge respect among the Pakistani youth.”
The film crew has travelled to Palampur, Chandigarh, Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh several times to portray Captain Batra’s real-life, who died in combat on Point 4875 in the Drass subsector of Kargil on July 7, 1999.
Captain Batra, nicknamed Sher Shah, used “Yeh dil maange more” as a battle slogan, which became widely popular.
The martyr’s mother, Kanta Batra, told IANS that there was delay in the release of the movie owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are regularly getting to many phone calls and letters from our well-wishers from across the globe,” she said, adding, “Now the war historical film will be the first documented memoir that the followers of our son are awaiting.”
On being asked about the response to the film they are expecting, she responded humbly, “Actually by seeing the film we will be able to comment. We can now only say Sidharth Malhotra did justice to Captain Vikram Batra.”
Actor Sidharth has played the role of the martyr.
Captain Batra’s twin brother, Vishal Batra, hoped his brother’s life is presented with the same vigour in the real as the soldier led in real.
Vishal accompanied Johar and Shabbir, co-producer of the film, to Leh, Kargil, Drass and the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun to meet officers, who took part in the war.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])