Varun Dhawan to play youngest Param Vir Chakra recipient Arun Khetarpal in Sriram Raghavan film
Varun Dhawan says it was his dream to essay the role of an Indian Army officer and is ‘moved’ as he is roped in to play Arun Khetarpal.Updated: Oct 14, 2019 12:15 IST
Actor Varun Dhawan will soon team up with Badlapur director Sriram Raghavan for a film on 1971 war hero Arun Khetarpal. Youngest Param Vir Chakra recipient Arun was a second lieutenant of the Indian Army and was martyred during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. He was honoured with Param Vir Chakra at the age of 21, posthumously.
Varun told Mumbai Mirror, “When I heard Arun Khetarpal’s story I was awed that this could have actually happened. I understood then why Dinoo (Dinesh Vijan) and Sriram are so passionate about it. When I met Arun’s brother Mukesh, I was moved. I too have a brother and I can’t understand what he must have gone through. And it’s our responsibility to tell it correctly. This is the most important film of my career and I’m excited to start work with Sriram again. I hope all Indians will feel as proud when they see our story unfold on screen.”
Filmmaker Sirram told the tabloid, “The courage of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal during the 1971 Battle of Basantar is well known. I was a kid during the ’71 war but I remember pasting black paper on windows during blackouts. When Dinoo approached me to make a film on the subject, I found it daunting initially. But movies set in wartime have always moved me and this made me reconsider my decision. This is a solid story told over two generations of soldiers and we hope we can do justice to it.”
Earlier, announcing the film in 2018, producer Dinesh Vijan had told Hindustan Times, “When I heard the story of Arun Khetarpal, it just blew my mind. He is the youngest recipient of the Param Vir Chakra. But I regret the fact that I wasn’t aware of him and his bravery. What he did and the kind of life he lived was absolutely exemplary and unbelievable.”
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