In an interesting turn of events, actor Vicky Kaushal has been roped in to play the role of the unsung hero, Udham Singh Kamboj, in the much-awaited Shoojit Sircar biopic. Famous trade analyst Taran Adarsh has confirmed about the same, with the following tweet:
CONFIRMED… Vicky Kaushal in Shoojit Sircar’s next film, titled #UdhamSingh… Story of a freedom fighter… Set in the pre-Independence era… Produced by Ronnie Lahiri… Starts next month… 2020 release. pic.twitter.com/hxTTajlRYP
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) March 4, 2019
According to the tweet, it is now confirmed that Vicky Kaushal will essay the titular role, which is being directed by Shoojit Sircar, famous for movies such as ‘Yahaan’, ‘Vicky Donor’, ‘Piku’ etc. Initially, there were talks about Ranveer Singh or Irrfan Khan being roped in for the titular role, but with the current announcement, it is now confirmed that Vicky Kaushal is entrusted to pay a fitting tribute to the charismatic personality that freedom fighter Udham Singh had been.
For those unaware, Udham Singh was born on 26 December 1899 at Sunam in the Sangrur district of Punjab. Orphaned at a young age, he fought against all odds to pursue a decent education. He volunteered for social service, and during one such task, he happened to witness the horrendous massacre at Jallianwala Bagh.
Even though he survived the ordeal, Udham could never forget the bloodshed that occurred in front of him. His anger knew no bounds when it came to light that the then Governor of Punjab, Michael O Dwyer, not only permitted this massacre, but also boasted about the same. From then on, his life had just one mission, kill the mastermind in the most iconic way possible.
He assisted revolutionary groups, and during one such assignment, he grew close to the iconic revolutionary, Bhagat Singh Sandhu. When arrested for illegally supplying arms to the revolutionaries, Udham was kept in the same Lahore Central Jail as Bhagat Singh and his comrades had been. He was released from prison in 1931 only months after Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged.
Soon enough, Udham escaped to Europe through Kashmir. He tried his hands at many professions, from an automobile engineer, to even acting in two classic Hollywood films, ‘Elephant Boy’ and ‘The Four Feathers’. But the desire to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre never dissipated in him. 21 years after the horrendous massacre, Udham Singh finally had his revenge when he shot dead Michael O Dwyer during his address at Caxton Hall on 13 March 1940. He did not try to escape and willingly surrendered. He was tried for his actions and was hanged in the Pentonville Prison on 31 July 1940. However, his remains were returned only in 1974.
Though Vicky Kaushal is not the first person to have essayed the role of Udham Singh on screen (actor turned politician Raj Babbar having essayed it in a Punjabi movie before), he is certainly an apt choice for a character as layered as that of Udham Singh Kamboj. He played the role of a para-commando, Major Vihaan Singh Shergill in the recently released blockbuster ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, based on the historical cross border surgical strikes executed against terrorists in POK on September 29, 2016. We hope that he gives a fitting tribute to the unsung hero of India as the movie releases in 2020.