Siddharth Malhotra’s Shershaah has just hit the theatres to rave reviews. The biopic is based on the life of the late Captain Vikram Batra, who was posthumously awarded the Param Veer Chakra for his valour in the Kargil War of 1999.
While Captain Batra was martyred on the 7th of July in 1999, his legacy lives on and not just in the memories of this country but through his family.
Captain Batra’s brother, Vishal Batra who was also present at the screening of the film, along with his parents said that the film barely takes 10-12% liberty with creative storytelling.
Vishal Batra also told the Times of India that it was the Batra family that chose Siddharth Malhotra to portray the role of the Captain after speaking to him.
I clearly remember when we met Sidharth in December 2016, he ended up chatting with my father and me for about three hours. When you engage with someone, you realise certain things about the person…
He also talked about the time the actor visited them to research for the role.
Sidharth visited our home. He went through all my brother’s things which we have arranged in his museum in the house. He touched and felt everything, as if gauging something. The final choice rested with the producer. When we found out that he is indeed playing Vikram, we were delighted.
Vishal currently works as the Retail Business Head – North at ICCI Bank. Captain Batra also has two sisters, Seema and Nutan but very little is known about either of them.
Meanwhile, Captain Batra’s parents naturally had an emotional reactions to his death scene in the film. In an interview, GL Batra, his father talked about the scene where Captain Batra is gunned down by Pakistani soldiers.
“A Pakistani soldier in hiding targets him and some three to four bullets hit him in the chest. He then falls down and bleeds from the mouth when he chants his unit’s war cry ‘Hail Mother Durga’ (Durga mata ki jai). He then falls down and becomes a martyr. It was a very emotional moment for us.
Captain Batra’s family has generally kept their affairs private and not much about them is known to the general public. Although, Dimple Cheema, Captain Batra’s fiance’s decision to never marry after his death is very well documented.
Hopefully the film does justice to Captain Batra’s life and sacrifice for this country.