UPDATED: April 13, 2021 13:31 IST
Actor-activist Vira Sathidar, best known for featuring in the National Award-winning film Court, died on Tuesday due to Covid-19 related complications, filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane confirmed. The actor, who was in his early sixties, was admitted to a city hospital after he contracted the coronavirus.
According to Tamhane, who directed him in the acclaimed 2014 film Court, the actor was put on a ventilator and breathed his last around 3 am.
“It’s true. He passed away at around 3 am in the hospital. He had Covid-19 and was on a ventilator. It’s extremely unfortunate news. It is yet to sink in,” Tamhane told PTI.
Sathidar rose to prominence after playing the role of protest singer Narayan Kamble in Court who is accused of encouraging a manhole worker to commit suicide through one of his folk songs.
Tamhane said the news of Sathidar’s demise has come as a “huge shock” to him.
“He was not only an actor, activist and poet but also one of the nicest human beings I’ve met. I still can’t process it. He was a fantastic person and I can now only think of the time we spent making Court,” the director added.
The court is a 2014 Indian multilingual legal drama film, written and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane in his directorial debut. The film examines the Indian legal system through the Mumbai Sessions Court trial of an ageing protest singer, Narayan Kamble (Vira Sathidar), who is accused of encouraging a manhole worker to commit suicide through one of his folk songs. It also stars Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi and Shirish Pawar.
Apart from Court, which was India’s official entry to Oscars 2016, Sathidar went on to feature in two more short films.