Fresh from the success of the highly-acclaimed film "Thackeray", senior Shiv Sena leader and lawmaker Sanjay Raut now plans to make a biopic on veteran trade union leader and politician George Fernandes who died in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Despite their strong ideological differences, the Sena founder-patriarch Bal Thackeray and Mr Fernandes enjoyed a great personal rapport, especially since the latter spoke fluent Marathi, among 10 languages he had mastered.
In fact, the "Thackeray" film features a scene where Mr Fernandes, played by Prakash Belawadi, visits Sena chief Bal Thackeray, 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," Mr Raut told reporters on Tuesday.
Besides "Thackeray", Mr Fernandes had 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, Mr Fernandes, Mr Thackeray and former Prime Minister the late 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 three men had made frantic efforts during the first National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in this direction, with Bal Thackeray pushing Mr Vajpayee and Mr 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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