Apart from Punjab, Few People Know of Udham Singh: Shoojit Sircar

“Udham is a cult figure. It’s hard to not to think about him when you visit Jallianwala Bagh,” says Shoojit Sircar.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Shoojit Sircar's film on Udham Singh released on 16 October 2021.</p></div>

(This story was first published on 31 July 2020. It has been republished from The Quint’s archives in light of the release of the Hindi movie Sardar Udham, directed by Shoojit Sircar and based on the life Udham Singh.)

Born on 26 December 1899, Sher Singh (who would later become Udham Singh) was the man who avenged the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by assassinating Michael O’Dwyer, the then governor-general of Punjab. He was hanged in his hometown in Punjab on 31 July 1940 for the assassination.

Shoojit Sircar is in the post-production stage of his film on Udham Singh and he spoke to The Quint on Singh's death anniversary.

The director made it clear that Sardar Udham Singh will be released in theatres. “Since it is scheduled for January 2021, we are not thinking about it right now. I’d like a film like this to be a big screen experience. I have lived with this dream for so long that when we were shooting at Jallianwala Bagh, I had tears in my eyes,” he said.

He also spoke about why he wanted to make his first ever biopic on Udham Singh.

Udham is a cult character according to me. I learnt about him long back when I started visiting Punjab and was learning about the Freedom Movement in India. Udham is a figure that exists in every family in Punjab. You will either find a picture, a book or something about him in a restaurant or a Punjab home. If you go to Jallianwala Bagh, I don’t think you can think of anyone else apart from Udham Singh and what he did in London. It’s unfortunate that apart from Punjab very few people know about him.
Shoojit Sircar to The Quint

Vicky Kaushal, who will be essaying the role of Udham Singh, shared a picture from the film’s shoot some time back and wrote, “When nature beckoned, We listened... We switched gears, From fast forward to slow motion...Now, there is a call again, An excitement, yet a caution And a hunger to reboot, With this feeling We begin, again..."

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