The mahurat of Rajkumar Santoshi’s ‘21 – Battle of Saragarhi’ that took place on the occasion of Saragarhi Day in Delhi was an event befitting the epic film. The film is already being much-talked about and it was a proud and emotional moment for all present as the highly-acclaimed filmmaker introduced his entire unit in the presence of several dignitaries as well as 21 retired soldiers from the Sikh Regiment, who were also honoured at the event with a ‘Saropa’ and a ‘khanda’.
But the real moment of pride for Santoshi came in the form of blessings and love that was showered by the retired soldiers, as they thanked Santoshi for bringing the epic story of these heroes on the big screen.
“They were really touched by Santoshi’s gesture and the fact that he was making a film on these brave and courageous men. What made it even more special, was them remarking how Santoshi was the perfect director for this film. They even met Santoshi backstage and spent much time with him too telling him that they would definitely watch the film and that they are already waiting for it,” says a source present at the do.
The mahurat clap of the film, that stars Randeep Hooda, was given by Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, while veteran Indian shooter and Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore operated the camera. Also present were Defence Minister of India Manohar Parrikar as well as producer and Chairman of Wave Group Raju Chadha and Rahul Mittra filmmaker and CEO Wave Cinemas.
The Battle of Saragarhi is an epitome of human courage and bravery in which 21 Sikh soldiers thwarted an attack by over 10,000 Afghan tribesmen for over seven hours in order to save the post of Saragarhi. It was their exemplary courage which has set up an example for the military institution around the world, so much so that it has become a compulsory chapter to be taught in the military academies around the world. The battle is recognized by UNESCO as one of the finest examples of human courage and sacrifice in the line of duty. Each one of the martyred Sikh soldiers was awarded the highest gallantry awards given to Indian soldiers at that time.