Anupam Kher has opted out of his Hitler role in Dear Friend Hitler, following pressure from fans. Co-producer and scriptwriter Nalin Singh of Amrapali Media Vision Production, insists that misleading reports in the foreign press, starting with one in The Guardian, were responsible for his abrupt turnaround. He says that Kher has been asked to reconsider his decision that was communicated to them last Thursday.
“Anupam has read the script and is aware that we are not glorifying the Nazi general. The hero of the film is Gandhi, whom Hitler had advised Lord Halifax to kill in 1938, along with other nationalist leaders, to stem the move for Independence,” informs Singh.
He points out that it was typical of Gandhi to address the man who wanted him dead as “Dear Friend” in the two letters he wrote to him, requesting him to put an end to the war. “In the second letter, he insisted that he objected to Nazism as strongly as he objected to British imperialism and asked that enemies be converted, not defeated in battle. That was courageous of him, given that he could have used Hitler’s might to take on the British. But he showed the world, at the time of World War II, that you could do the same by following the path of peace and non-violence,” Singh argues.
He is upset with the international media for spreading misinformation without researching facts. “We’ve spoken to Anupam to re-think the project and are waiting for him to revert from the UK where he is currently shooting for Mausam,” says Singh.
The film shows the defeat of the Fuehrer in 1945 and the victory of the Mahatma in 1947, ending with Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech, “At the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom...”
Says Singh, “We have assured Jonathan Soloman, chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, that Hitler will not be glorified.
He can contact us at any point and ask for a copy of the script.”