Now, Afzal Guru biopic on its way

Dec 08, 2016, 08:36 IST | Mohar Basu

There's no balanced way to make a film on separatist leader Afzal Guru, who was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, three after being convicted in the 2001 Parliament attacks. But, producer Ghanshyam Patel is up for the challenge

Nikhil Pitaley will play the title role in the Afzal Guru (inset) biopic
Nikhil Pitaley will play the title role in the Afzal Guru (inset) biopic

There's no balanced way to make a film on separatist leader Afzal Guru, who was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, three after being convicted in the 2001 Parliament attacks. But, producer Ghanshyam Patel is up for the challenge. His next titled 'Gaalib' will shed light on Guru's life and will be narrated from his son Galib's perspective. Debutante Nikhil Pitaley has been signed to play the title role. The film rolls in January.

The film's writer Dhiraj Mishra says, "I have spoken to Guru's family over phone many times. I was ready to fly down to meet them, but it hasn't materialised so far. In the last few months, safety in the Jammu & Kashmir region has been a concern due to tense political situation. I thought of the film when I heard Guru's son topped in the J&K in Class 10 Board exams. For a child, whose father was tried for treason and hanged, it must have been painful. But he never let that affect his psyche. I researched about the family and found out that Galib had met his father once in jail. He'd apparently told young Galib not to seek revenge. He gifted him a pen and diary. This film could set an example for several Kashmiri boys."

Talking about his interaction with  Galib, Dhiraj said, "He said his father in his last days admitted he had made a mistake. Someone had helped get on a call with him a Baramullah. Galib said he was a great dad, but not a good civilian. He is barely 16 years old. He earlier used to feel the pinch of people's gaze. Yes, many Kashmiris harbour the feeling of hurt but many of them are nationalists for whom Guru was a villain. He didn't want to be the culprit of his father's crimes. He felt the urge to avenge his dad's death, but his father's humanity affected him more. I will change the character names but it felt right to name the film Gaalib as a tribute to the boy's spirit."

Factfile

Mohammad Afzal Guru was a doctor, who turned a Kashmiri separatist leader. He was convicted for his role in the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and sentenced to death. It was upheld by the Supreme Court and he was hanged to death on Feb 9, 2013.

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