Is ‘Sarkar’ based on Bal Thackeray’s life?

Subhash K Jha


Knowing Bollywood’s love for Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, there is much speculation as to whether Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Sarkar’ is based on the politician’s life. Varma chuckles at the speculation surrounding the film that has Amitabh Bachchan in the title role.

“Amitabh Bachchan’s character is based on someone real. That’s for sure,” Varma told HNS. While Varma is quick to add that in other respects the plot is fictional, he revealed that Bachchan plays “the opposite of Mahatma Gandhi”.

“In ‘Sarkar’, Bachchan plays an incredibly self-righteous man. He does what he believes in regardless of society or law. He makes his own rules. He’s hugely charismatic and people go to him with their problems.” Varma said the roles of Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek were inspired by those of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in “The Godfather”.

After a thought, Varma added: “I think Mr Thackeray will be very happy with ‘Sarkar’. I’ve written the character for my childhood hero. If Amitabh is playing the role, how can it not be heroic? ‘Sarkar’ is about a junta’s hero. Bachchan plays a hero of the masses. I’ve essentially built on the Vijay persona that Salim-Javed wrote for him in the 1970s.”

For further shocks, the maverick director revealed: “Personally I don’t like seeing Bachchan in a film like ‘Black’. For me he’s a superstar. I’m not interested in seeing him as an actor. I want to see him larger than life. If ‘Zanjeer’ and ‘Black’ had been released at the same time, I’d have preferred to see him in ‘Zanjeer’.”