Shershaah, biopic of Indian Army officer Vikram Batra who was martyred in the Kargil war of 1999, releases on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday. Captain Batra, who sacrificed his life at the age of 24, was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest wartime gallantry award, posthumously.
Captain Batra was born in Himachal Pradesh’s Palampur, and had a twin brother and two sisters. After schooling, he joined DAV College in Chandigarh, and then joined Panjab University for his post-graduation. He joined Dehradun’s Indian Military Academy in 1996, and graduated the next year. He was first commissioned into the 13th battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles—the regiment with which Batra joined the Kargil war. Batra is always remembered for his bravery—according to reports, he gunned down four Pakistani soldiers during the war. He died while trying to save another Indian Army officer who was severely injured in an explosion. While dragging the soldier to safety, Batra exposed himself to enemy firing and was shot. Pepsi’s iconic slogan ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ took on a new meaning when Batra said it after a successful mission.
Directed by Vishnuwardhan, the biopic is titled Shershaah—Batra’s own codename within the regiment. Speaking about the biopic, Vishnuwardhan said earlier: “His life story is so fascinating. At the age of 24, he chose to serve the nation and his journey I believe has been truly inspirational. We hope it will inspire a lot of people. It was motivating for me to explore a new world. Everything fell in place like the story, perfect casting, location,.”
He added: “Everything is transparent. I don’t think it will hurt anyone’s sentiment as the intention was to be honest. The support from the family and the Indian Army was immense. Besides, we have NOCs (no objection certificate) from them and we had two army personnel present on the sets.”
Captain Batra’s twin brother Vishal Batra recently said Siddharth is the perfect actor to essay his brother’s role in the film. “When we met Sidharth for the first time we felt he had a lot of similarities with Vikram,” he had said.