Omung Kumar, who is directing a biopic based on Sarabjit Singh — the Indian national who was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court and died in jail in 2013 — says it’s not an easy job to be entrusted with. He calls it a "tremendous task", as the "whole nation has followed the story for 23 years".
"I am scared but I can’t not show the truth. Usually, there are some fictional elements that are included in biopics ... but I can’t do it with this one. There is a lot of pressure," says Kumar, whose film is a detailed narration of Sarabjit’s story and the struggle that his elder sister Dalbir Kaur went through.
Dalbir, on her part, shows complete confidence in him. "Even when Sarabjit was in jail, I thought a film should be made so that we (the family) get the world’s attention. People should know about the issue ... this film will show the kind of person that Sarabjit was, and what happened with him. In his last directorial, Mary Kom, Omung successfully expressed a lady’s emotions, so I thought he would be able to understand a sister’s feelings as well," she says.
Kumar is trying his best to do justice to the subject. "If Dalbir is satisfied with the way the film turns out, I will feel satisfied with my efforts," he says.
The director also reveals that he asked Dalbir to share the minutest details, such as ‘when did you first read about his arrest in the newspapers’, ‘what was he wearing’ etc, to tell the story the way she wanted it to be put.
However, since this is a sensitive subject, isn’t he afraid of objections and controversies that loom large? "I will make sure that I don’t ruffle any feathers. But, obviously, the truth has to be told. I hope people talk about what happened, and what can be changed. Even if one such prisoner is released after the film, that will be a true victory," says Kumar, who will not use any real names in the film. Dalbir, too, hopes this biopic will help "expose the conspiracy behind Sarabjit’s killing".
The cast is yet to be finalised, and Kumar says some big names are in the offing.