Maharashtra’s urban development minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who is at the moment scripting the state’s political drama, had last month attended the trailer launch of Pravin Tarde’s Dharmaveer, a biopic on late Shiv Sena party leader Anand Chintamani Dighe, with CM Uddhav Thackeray.
Shinde and MLAs loyal to him have been unreachable since Monday evening, amid the political fallout of the ruling Sena-NCP-Congress’s losses in the MLC elections. The buzz is he will float his own party, causing the fall of Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
The film is based on the real life events of Dighe, who was also the Thane district unit chief of the Shiv Sena.
Shinde, who shared a good bond and considered Dighe his mentor, had earlier graced the music launch of the film, which released in theaters on May 13 and was critically as well as commercially acclaimed.
One of the highlights of the music launch was actor-director Prasad Oak’s entry dressed as Dighe. Oak’s appearance made Shinde so emotional that he touched the actor’s feet.
Talking about the film and his mentor, Shinde told the media, “Anand Dighe was a mainstay of Shiv Sena. Our main objective was to spread his ideas all over the world through films. Mangesh Desai has completed my mission. Tarde is now working to take this film forward. This is the main objective. Dighe never hurt anyone. I urge all the audience to watch this movie.”
At the trailer launch, Thackeray was accompanied by his wife Rashmi and son Aaditya, the State Tourism, Environment and Protocol Minister. Several Bollywood celebrities, including Salman Khan, Jackie Shroff, Riteish Deshmukh, Bhagyashree were, also present.
Speaking at the event, Thackeray praised Shinde: “Eknath, I say this from the bottom of my heart, you and your team have done a great job! Making a movie is one thing but to make a movie on this subject and taking up the onus of taking this story ahead and making it reach the audience is admirable.”
Khan, too, praised the film and also spoke about some similarities with Dighe as he quipped, “There are two similarities between me and Anand Dighe ji. He used to stay in one bedroom and I stay in one bedroom. Secondly, we both are unmarried.”
While Makarand Padhye and Kshitij Date essay the role of Balasaheb Thackeray and Eknath Shinde respectively, Snehal Tarde and Shruti Marathe were seen in prominent roles as well. Produced by Mangesh Desai, the film had its OTT premiere last week on ZEE5.