Updated: September 10, 2021 9:49:23 am
Sidharth Malhotra’s near-perfect portrayal of war hero Captain Vikram Batra in the recent hit film Shershaah might be winning accolades from all quarters, but one thing we’d definitely wish to know more is how Vikram got inspired to enter the armed forces. On his birth anniversary today, he would have turned 47, here’s revisiting the life of the Kargil war hero in the words of his brother Vishal.
Shershaah, also starring Kiara Advani, released on Amazon Prime Video on August 12, has become the most watched film on the streaming platform in India with an IMDb rating of 8.8. Its writer Sanjeev Srivastava had told indianexpress.com how Sidharth was a part of the project from its inception, along with co-producer Shabbir Boxwala, and Vikram’s younger brother, Vishal Batra. Sanjeev even asserted that Sidharth put in a lot of hardwork and dedication to transform into Vikram. “He’s come of age and has put up a very fine act,” Sanjeev told us.
Vishal had singled out the moment when his brother decided to join the armed forces in his TEDTalk in 2017. In the video, Vishal talks about his childhood with Vikram, and how his brother was always meant to serve the motherland.
Taking us back to 1987, when owning a colour television wasn’t common, Vishal shared that his household didn’t even have a black and white TV. “Me and Vikram used to sneak out of our house every Sunday morning at 9.30 AM to one of the neighbour’s houses to watch a very popular TV show – Param Vir Chakra. It was on the life of the 16 brave martyrs who laid down their life and got PVC after 1947. That was the time when Vikram decided that if he wishes to do anything in life, it would be to join the armed forces and serve the motherland,” he revealed.
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Vikram Batra joined the National Cadet Core at DAV College, Chandigarh at the age of 19, probably his first step towards achieving his dream. “He was awarded the best cadet for two consecutive years before leading a contingent of NCC Directorate at Republic Day parade in 1994. Soon Vikram joined Indian Military Academy. And rest is history,” Vishal said during the talk.
Recounting how the two brothers watched Nana Patekar’s Prahaar (1991) leaving Vishal wondering whether the commando training was indeed that difficult. “I still get goosebumps when I remember the sight of bruises Vikram used to carry after his commando training course,” Vishal said, adding that for Vikram these bruises were “small steps which are very critical towards becoming an effective leader.”
Shershaah was Vikram Batra’s code name on the battlefield and his victory signal was “Yeh Dil Maange More” for radio communication. Leading the 13 JAK RIF during the Kargil War, Vikram laid his life but managed to capture Point 4875 which overlooked National Highway 1. He was bestowed with the Param Vir Chakra posthumously.
“Among many things that Vikram perfected was the art of driving a jeep with one hand and looking at the aim and shooting with his AK47 with the other hand,” Vikram shared.