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Soha Ali Khan and Vir Das in a film on 1984 Sikh riots

A film on the aftermath of the 1984 Sikh riots is apparently based on a true personal account

Shivaji Patil, who made the National Award-winning Marathi film, Dhag, is now planning to make a film based on the real-life story of a Sikh family that was saved by three Hindu families on the day the 1984 Sikh riots broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Soha Ali Khan
Soha Ali Khan

Patil recounts, “I was in Delhi for the National Awards when a gentleman came to me and told me his family’s story; he told me how they were affected by the violence when he was just seven years old. When I heard about the ordeal they went through after Indira Gandhi was assassinated, I was moved by it all.’’

He adds that his film will tell the story about this Sikh family that lived in Janakpuri with their twins and how three Hindu families helped them escape death. It is a story of three nights of ordeal,’’ says Patil.

It seems that the person who approached Patil has chanced upon letters written by his father that chronicle their ordeal in detail. It is said that the film will draw heavily from these letters. Patil reveals that Vir Das will play the husband’s part while Soha Ali Khan will play the wife.

“Delhi is not the same anymore so we are shooting in Ludhiana, which looks similar to the Janakpuri of 1984. Our art director Bhupinder Singh has managed to get hold of old Ambassador cars, burnt DTH buses and other items that were needed to make it look real.’’

Producer Harry Sachdeva plans to release the film on October 31, the day when Sikh riots broke out in Delhi.

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