By Vijay Darda | 17-08-2021
The film ‘Shershaah’ made on Captain Vikram Batra’s bravery is an amazing saga of inspiration for the youth
I always make it a point to watch patriotic films, the ones which inspire the youth and all of us. I recently watched the movie ‘Shershaah’ and got lost in the bitter memories of Kargil war. A total of 527 of our soldiers were martyred in that war. A question that always comes to my mind is that whoever dies in war is someone’s son, brother, husband. Wars are thrust upon us. That’s why I hate war and, I believe, so do you! But whenever a war was thrust upon us, our soldiers laid down their lives for the motherland.
Although there are countless tales of indomitable courage and valour of Indian soldiers in the Kargil war, the film ‘Shershaah’ is the heroic saga of Captain Vikram Batra. The actors Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani have infused life into their roles in the Karan Johar presented and Vishnuvardhan directed film. Earlier, Abhishek Bachchan too had played the role of Captain Vikram Batra in the film LOC Kargil.
Captain Vikram Batra was a resident of Palanpur, a small but very beautiful city in Himachal Pradesh. While watching the film, I was wondering as to what is the power that makes a peaceful state like Himachal a land of brave soldiers. In the Kargil war, 52 brave heroes from Himachal attained martyrdom. They included two Param Vir Chakra winners. Captain Vikram Batra was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously by the President, who awarded the same honour to havildar Sanjay Kumar too. Captain Vikram Batra’s father G L Batra and mother Kamal Kanta Batra were both teachers. Vikram Batra and his brother Vishal Batra were named Luv and Kush by their mother. The family had no Army connection at all, but Luv’s school was situated in the Army cantonment. In his childhood, he got hooked on joining the Army. The tricolour started attracting him and the tune of ‘Jana Gana Mana’ started ruling his mind. Finally, he joined the Army.
Vikram, who had completed his commando training, showed his first bravery in the Kargil war by recovering Hump and Raki Nab from the enemy. This second lieutenant made the impossible possible and soon he was promoted as Captain. After that, he achieved the feat of reclaiming the peak 5140 in Kargil, which was considered very difficult. He reached the peak taking such a path that the enemy did not even notice him. His specialty was leading the squad from the front. On June 20, 1999, after conquering the peak 5140 at 3.30 am, when he gave the victory chant ‘Yeh dil maange more’ through the radio, the whole country turned crazy about him. For this operation, Colonel Yogesh Kumar Joshi code named him ‘Shershaah’.
The stories of Captain Vikram Batra’s bravery were echoing in the Army. It was believed that Captain Vikram Batra can do anything! He was entrusted with the responsibility of driving out the enemies from the very narrow peak 4875. There were steep slopes on either side of this peak. The only way to go up was in the enemy area. Captain Vikram Batra chose a path that Pakistanis could never imagine. In a fierce face-to-face fight above, he killed five enemies. He was riddled with bullets, but despite being injured so seriously, he hurled a grenade and eliminated the enemies. The peak was conquered but we lost our ‘Shershaah’!
Before leaving for the Kargil war, Captain Vikram Batra had told his friend in Palanpur, “I will hoist the tricolour on the snowy peak, or come wrapped in it. But come I shall for sure.” This sentence of Captain Vikram Batra is repeated with great pride not only in 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles but also in every troop and battalion of the Army. Actually, it is the power of the tricolour that fills a person with the passion and courage to die for the country and gives the strength to defeat the enemy. It is this power which recognises Mother India as a nation in the whole world, and gives respect to all of us. In this context, I would like to mention here that as a member of Rajya Sabha, once I reached Parliament wearing a tricolour lapel. However, I was stopped and told by the officials that I cannot go inside wearing the tricolour lapel. Following this, I took up the issue persistently and am glad that the Parliament finally accepted that it is the right of every Indian to wear a tricolour lapel on the chest. Well, I was talking about the pride of the tricolour. It is for the glory of this tricolour that our soldiers are bravely stationed in those inaccessible and dangerous areas where the common man cannot even imagine to go, leave alone staying there even for a minute. The soldiers carry the tricolour with them wherever they go in the inhospitable terrain. I feel that our filmmakers should produce a steady stream of films focussed on the bravery of our soldiers to inspire our youth. Unfortunately, the youth today have fewer opportunities to get inspiration. Be it studies, sports, business or profession, there is a lack of motivation everywhere. Continuous efforts should be made by the society and the government to motivate and inspire people. People should stay away from wrongdoing. Before indulging in any adulteration, they should think that it is a sin. If a youth is going to an educational institution, the teacher should present a role model before him so as to inspire that youth or child. Players should feel that there is no discrimination. Politicians should be dedicated towards public service.
The film ‘Shershaah’ is truly inspiring. I admire Dimple Cheema’s affection for her fiance Captain Vikram Batra who refused to marry after he was martyred! I salute her spirit. I salute all the martyrs and soldiers who kept the tricolour flying high without caring for their lives. Glory be to those who kept the tricolour flying high and made Mother India proud.
That’s why we all proudly say… Sare jahan se accha Hindustan hamara!