Savarkar first look is out, film on Godse next

Producer Sandeep Singh says his story was kept out of the cultural narrative by a political party

Updated - May 29, 2022 07:41 pm IST

Published - May 28, 2022 09:43 pm IST - New Delhi

Poster of Sandeep Singh’s film on Savarkar.

Poster of Sandeep Singh’s film on Savarkar. | Photo Credit: Twitter/@RandeepHooda

The makers of biopic Swatantra Veer Savarkar released the first look of the film on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Hindutva icon.

Starring Randeep Hooda in the lead role, the film, directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, will go on floors in August 2022 and is expected to release by December 2023, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

While social media was abuzz with comments on the striking similarity between Mr. Hooda and Savarkar, producer Sandeep Singh told The Hindu that “when there could be films on Dawood Ibrahim, Harshad Mehta and Lalit Modi, why should we not celebrate a freedom fighter.”

In the past, the prolific producer has made PM Narendra Modi, released just after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, as the Election Commission stopped its release before the election. Mr. Singh is now working on a film on Nathuram Godse.

Asked whether he was indulging in propaganda, Mr. Singh said if telling the true story of Savarkar was propaganda, he certainly was. “If telling the story of somebody who urged his countrymen to unite is propaganda, I am definitely making a propaganda film,” he said, adding he has also produced films like Jhund.

He denied any concerted attempt to promote the Hindutva narrative. “It is the job of the politician, a filmmaker just wants to tell a story that needs to be told,” Mr. Singh said.

Mr. Singh said Savarkar was a “misunderstood freedom fighter who could have saved the Partition of the country and was kept out of the cultural narrative by a political party.”

Demanding a Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, he wondered why and on whose insistence Savarkar and Bhimrao Ambedkar were kept out of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. “Were they not important cogs in the freedom movement?” he asked.

Mr. Singh further said one could differ from Savarkar’s ideology but it should not mean he be kept out of literature and cinema because of politics. “The film on Godse will also explore the mindset and journey of a freedom fighter,” he said.

Interestingly, it is not the first time that a film on Savarkar is being made. In 2001, when the BJP government was in power, director Ved Rahi made Veer Savarkar.

In an official release, Mr. Manjrekar said, "People may have different versions in their mind for Savarkar but as a filmmaker, I’m trying to match the same thought which Savarkar had. So, the character of Savarkar in the film will not have any difference from what Savarkar was in real life... we'll ensure that he's never forgotten ever by any Indian.”

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