First look: Randeep Hooda plays a Sikh soldier in Santoshi’s Saragarhi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 02, 2016 10:41 IST
Randeep Hooda plays a Sikh soldier in Rajkumar Santoshi’s period drama based on the 1897 historic Saragarhi battle.

After shocking his fans with his emaciated look in Sarbjit, Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda is all set for yet another transformation.

Rajkumar Santoshi has roped in Hooda for his upcoming period drama on the battle of Saragarhi in which the actor will play Havlidar Ishar Singh, the military commander of the 36th Sikhs, today known as the fourth Battalion of the Sikh Regiment.

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As part of his preparation, Randeep will study Sikh history, learn sword-fighting and vintage-rifle shooting in the next 45 days.

Randeep Hooda (left) during the shooting of Sarbjit with director Oomung Kumar.

“For the next month-and-a-half, Randeep will be studying Sikh history under a guru. He will also be learning sword fighting and shooting with vintage rifles. He is already a master of horse riding and has been visiting the stables more often in the last few weeks.

“He has the body language of a warrior and he will be beefing up to resemble Ishar Singh. He has already started growing his hair and beard,” said filmmaker and CEO, Wave Cinemas, Rahul Mittra, adding that Group Chairman, Raju Chadha has signed Randeep on board for a three-film deal with the focus on the big budget first production, Saragarhi.

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”Taking care of the sentiments of the Sikh community is of utmost importance and Randeep is extremely serious about the prep. Being a Sikh soldier means embracing calmness and pure forms of warfare. There can be no frivolous behaviour and Randeep has completely submerged himself into the part,” Mittra added.

During the battle, Ishar Singh suffered severe wounds but refused to surrender and fought to his death.

Saragarhi follows the events of September 12, 1897, when 10,000 Afghans of the Orakzai tribe attacked a British Indian contingent of 21 Sikhs, stationed at an army post in the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan). During the battle, Ishar Singh suffered severe wounds but refused to surrender and fought to his death.

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In recognition of his sacrifice, the British Parliament had awarded him the Indian Order of Merit posthumously. Two Saragarhi Gurudwaras were built to commemorate the soldiers.

The mahurat shot will take place at the Saragarhi Gurudwara in Amritsar on September 12, the day when the historic battle began in 1897.

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