Shershaah - A Review

A Fitting Tribute to a Great War Hero

The biopic of one of the Kargil’s greatest war heroes, Captain Vikram Batra, is a befitting tribute to the legendary Army officer. He was posthumously awarded the highest gallantry award, The Param Veer Chakra (PVC (P)) for exemplary acts of bravery and courage in the battlefield.

Played by Sidharth Malhotra, the film opens with the Jammu & Kashmir’s 13th battalion corps led by Captain Vikram Batra with the war cry “Durga Mata Ki Jai.” He launches himself on a frontal attack staring right into the crosshairs of the Pakistani infiltrators who had occupied Indian bunkers. It is nothing short of hair-raising stuff but evokes strong patriotic response.

Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (P) and his brave unit - 13 JAK Rifles stand out for the Himalayan task allotted to them. The mission meant precision, leadership and decision-making qualities, prioritizing resources, respecting hierarchy, time-bound and location-bound confidentiality, involving oneself in the line of fire and leading the task with no blame game, understanding the urgency, and above all unparalleled patriotism.

The above-mentioned qualities are not only useful in military but are significantly useful in managing our personal lives well and for effective corporate management at firms. Those are the attributes worth emulating.

Captain Vikram Batra’s acts of courage and valour are true to the title, ‘Shershaah,’ meaning Lion King. A well-deserved biopic based on a character who went on to become a youth icon of his time, to being discussed in dining table conversations during Kargil war. His famous lines, “Ye dil maange more,” meaning this heart seeks for more, shows Captain Vikram Batra’s unstoppable nerve after re-capturing the strategic peak - Point 5140.

The film has more than its moments that bring back vivid memories of Kargil war to those born in the era and others who are aware of it. The film reaches its patriotic crescendo when Captain Batra speaks to his friend during peacetime, mentions “Ya to tiranga lehra ke aaunga, ya tirange mein lipta ke aaunga, par aaunga zaroor” (I will either raise the Tricolour in victory, or come back wrapped in it). Pure hair-raising stuff, for the man lived true to his words.

The film is an out and out tribute to one of India’s greatest war heroes. The appreciable part of the film is that it does not entail any pseudo-appeasement in pursuit of commercialism or peddle the failed ‘Aman ki Aasha’ narrative. The filmmaker deserves an applaud for showing the true face of Pakistan and its nefarious designs in disturbing peace in the Jammu & Kashmir region.

'Dharmo Rakhshati Rakshittah' has been the guiding principle of our civilization. The film goes on to show how we do not allow infiltrators into our soil and fight tooth and nail to protect our sovereignty yet treating a dead enemy soldier with honour. Pakistan refused to take back the bodies of their soldiers from our soil. The film presents a factual happening when the Indian forces conducted themselves with dharmic spirit, performed the last rites of the dead Pakistani soldiers, and cremated them with due honour as per their custom.

This transition in Bollywood reflects the collective conscience of the nation and the patriotism that we are experiencing today at large, a welcome change. A bit late in fact, the creative folks have missed the heroics of people like Captain Vikram Batra PVC (P) for 20 plus years. A look back in history shows that there are countless heroes that this great land has had which needs to be celebrated and brought to the fore.

‘Shershaah’ is a cut above the rest and belongs to the league of ‘Uri: The Surgical strike’ and will be remembered long in the history of the country. It also ensures that Captain Vikram Batra PVC (P) stands immortal in our hearts.

Jai Hind!

A Grandson, Husband and Father of Two, S Jaganathan - is one of the Director's of The Verandah Club. He is an avid traveller, interested in trendspotting and a firm believer in the philosophy - Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah.

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