New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) A documentary film on this year’s Ashok Chakra awardee Hangappan Dada has taken the internet by storm with over eight lakh views within three days of its release, a tribute to the valiant soldier who killed three infiltrators single-handedly in Jammu and Kashmir before being martyred.

One of the makers of the 12-minute film –Warriors of India– is 27-year-old Somesh Saha could closely relate to the supreme sacrifice made by the soldier from Arunachal Pradesh as his father also belongs to Assam Regiment like Dada.

“My father, who happens to be the Colonel of Assam Regiment, was tensed over the loss of a soldier. An ordinary Indian would not understand this, but being the son of an Army officer, I have always been inspired by stories of soldiers.

They have been a part of my upbringing,” says the young filmmaker.

“I was not aware of the huge response but I wanted the valour of Havaldar Dada to go into the annals of history and these days history is internet. I talked to my two other friends and the result is extremely wonderful. The comment of one soldier, ‘the film made me cry and smile at the same time’, is etched on my mind and will remain my most treasured memory,” says Somesh, who is a jingle expert in advertisement industry.

The other two — Soumil Shetty, 27, and Rohan Sharma, 29 — were more than willing to join Saha in the venture. “I knew it was a story waiting to be told. The first thing we requested the Army was to allow us meet Havaldar Dada s comrades. After meeting them, we felt that his story needs to be told by those who were actually a part of Dada s life,” Saha says.

“Dada s presence was an inspiration for all those who were associated with him including his colleagues, friends and family. He was a hero since birth. As a kid he used to be the first one to accpet a challenge. His honesty made a huge impact on those around him. This was our motivation to make the film,” he says.

Along with writer-director Shetty, and Sharma, who works with a production house, Saha went to Dada s native village Borduria in Arunachal Pradesh.

“We travelled from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. We lived for a number of days with the soldiers who fought with him in the operation so that we could understand their feelings on a whole range of issues. It surely was a lifetime experience,” Saha recalled. He said he wished to travel once again to Arunachal Pradesh to meet the six-year-old son of Dada. More

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.