biopic savarkar

(L-r): Amit B. Wadhwani, founder, SAI & Buffering technologies, poses with filmmakers Mahesh V. Manjrekar and Sandeep Singh. (Everymedia PR photo)

MUMBAI — Sandeep Singh and Amit B. Wadhwani, founder, SAI & Buffering technologies, have joined hands to tell the story of the neglected freedom fighter, Veer Savarkar.

Singh announced the film on Savarkar’s 138th birth anniversary May 28.

Singh, who acquired the rights to tell the story of Savarkar, said: “Veer Savarkar is revered and criticized in equal measure. He has been made into a polarizing figure today, but I feel that’s because people don’t know enough. No one can deny that he was an important part of our freedom struggle and our attempt is to present a peek into his life and journey.”

While many revere Veer Savarkar for his role in the freedom struggle, there are others that decry him along with his philosophy of Hindutva. But Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s story is one that needs to be told and it is that very emotion that will drive the narrative, said Singh, as he announced the film.

Wadhwani added, “I am happy that we are making a film that highlights the work of a freedom fighter. Veer Savarkar is an important part of India’s history that needs to be told. Unfortunately, politics has prevented the man from being understood, let alone from being celebrated.”

“I have forever been fascinated by the life and times of Veer Savarkar. I believe he is a man who didn’t get his due in history. The fact that he evokes such strong emotion points to a life that must have impacted so many. As a director, I know it’s going to be a challenge, but one that I want to take on,” said director Manjrekar.

Veer Savarkar played a significant role in India’s freedom struggle and was also a member of the Hindu Mahasabha. Fifty-five years after his death, he continues to evoke strong reactions from both sides of the political spectrum.

To be shot across London, the Andamans and Maharashtra, “Swatantra Veer Savarkar” promises to change the narrative of the Indian freedom struggle and history.

The film will be written by Rishi Virmani and Mahesh V Manjrekar with cinematography by Anirban Chaterjee and production design by Wasik Khan.     Sanjay Sankla is the editor and music is by Hitesh Modak and Shreyas Puranik. The casting will be announced soon.

Interestingly, in 2001, veteran Marathi music composer and singer Sudhir Phadke (who was also interviewed for India-West then by this writer) had produced a slick and crisp biopic, “Veer Savarkar,” through crowd-funding. It was a brilliant and hard-hitting film, a fast-paced thriller like Savarkar’s life was, but got caught in a political controversy and was finally released only in Maharashtra and Kashmir. Its DVD rights remain unsold and owned by the composer’s son, composer Shridhar Phadke. This writer has again asked him to release the film on DVD, but he has not done so.

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