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After Thackeray Biopic, Shiv Sena Leader Sanjay Raut to Make a Film on George Fernandes

Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and George Fernandes enjoyed a great personal rapport, and the former defence minister is seen in a small part in the Thackeray biopic.

IANS

Updated:January 30, 2019, 10:32 AM IST
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After Thackeray Biopic, Shiv Sena Leader Sanjay Raut to Make a Film on George Fernandes
Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and George Fernandes enjoyed a great personal rapport, and the former defence minister is seen in a small part in the Thackeray biopic.
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Fresh from the success of Thackeray, senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut is now planning to make a biopic on veteran trade union leader and politician George Fernandes, who passed away on Tuesday.

Despite their strong ideological differences, the Sena founder-patriarch Bal Thackeray and Fernandes enjoyed a great personal rapport, especially since the latter spoke fluent Marathi, among the 10 languages he had mastered.

In fact, in Thackeray, a scene shows Fernandes, played by Prakash Belawadi, visiting Balasaheb, essayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, in a Pune jail.

"Now I will make a biographical film on George Fernandes. It would focus mostly on the period from the mid-1950s in Mumbai to the Emergency, and the crucial role he played in coalition-era politics," said Raut, who is the writer of the biopic on Thackeray.

Fernandes had also inspired the characters of a union leader D'Cost in Arun Sadhu's noted Marathi novel, Mumbai Dinank, and in the film Simhasan directed by Jabbar Patel.

Besides their close personal rapport, Fernandes, Thackeray and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee shared another passion - to convert the country's first aircraft carrier, Vikrant (formerly, "INS Vikrant"), into a permanent floating maritime museum for future generations.

The now-deceased trio had made frantic efforts during the first National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in this direction, with Thackeray pushing Vajpayee and Fernandes to take up the project.

However, it could not be executed due to various constraints, mainly financial, and finally the magnificent warship was sold as scrap and broken down to metal pieces in 2014, for recycling purposes.

The sole living memory is a small memorial sculpture created from its metal pieces sourced from a ship-breaking yard in central Mumbai, which was designed by sculptor Arzan Khambatta, and erected at a traffic island near the Naval Dockyard in south Mumbai in January 2016.
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