India’s first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who fought five wars during his four-decade-long military career and led the country to victory during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, will soon have a biopic made on his distinguished career.
Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal, who released the title of former military chief’s biopic on the eve of his birth anniversary on April 3, will be playing the lead role. The film titled Sam Bahadur will be directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by Ronnie Screwvala.
Announcing the title on Instagram, Vicky wrote, “The man. The legend. The brave heart. Our Samबहादुर. On the birth anniversary of Field Marshal #SamManekshaw, his story has found its name. #SamBahadur.”
Vicky Kaushal also shared the first look as Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, described by critics as being strikingly reminiscent of the military veteran.
While sharing the first portrait, Kaushal wrote, “I feel honored, emotional and proud of getting a chance to unfold the journey of this fearless patriot, the swashbuckling general, the first Field Marshal of India- SAM MANEKSHAW.
Remembering him on his death anniversary today and embracing the new beginnings with @meghnagulzar and #RonnieScrewvala (sic).”
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the Chief of Army Staff when India and Pakistan went to war in 1971 to liberate Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). He was the first Indian military officer to be promoted to the five-star rank of Field Marshal.
He served in the Indian Army for four decades and participated in five wars, the first of which was in the British Indian Army in World War II. He rose to become the 8th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army in 1969 and subsequently led India to victory in the 1971 war against Pakistan.
Manekshaw captured the national imagination with his straightforward and uncompromising attitude. He is said to have told then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the army wasn’t prepared for war in April 1971.
He then accepted Gandhi’s request on the condition that he be given three months for the preparation, saying that his job “was to fight to win”. The request was accepted and the assault on Pakistan was launched by December 1971, which resulted in a decisive victory for India.
Considered to be overly critical of the government, Manekshaw’s no-nonsense attitude is said to have irked the politicians of the day and many times inquiries were sought against him.
The accounts of his life are filled with witty and ingenious anecdotes and the tales of his valor still inspire millions of Indians.
He retired from active service on 15 January 1973. After his retirement, he settled down at Wellington, Tamil Nadu, and died on June 27, 2008, at the age of 94.