(Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Filmmaker Raja Krishna Menon, who was set to direct a biopic based on the eventful life of Asian Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh, mourned the death of the athlete. Singh, who was battling with liver cancer since 2017, died on Thursday aged 42.

Menon said that he is saddened by the fact that he could not make the film on his life while he was still alive. The filmmaker had announced the film on Singh’s life in 2019, but the project faced several setbacks. Later, the makers decided to put it on hold. Actor Shahid Kapoor was cast to play Dingko Singh in the biopic.

“It is unfortunate and terrible. This has come as a shock. I knew he was ill and suffering but I didn’t know it was this bad. He was a wonderful human being and a spiritual person. It is unfortunate that we couldn’t make the film before he could have seen it,” Menon told a newswire, adding, “The film got stuck… we will see what happens.”

Menon revealed that Singh knew that the project was on hold. “He wanted the film to be made because he wanted the story to be told to inspire people. He was a pragmatic person. He never called me or asked why it was stuck.”

“This film needs to be made. It is a story that has to be told. It is a tremendous story and a tribute is due to him. I do believe this film needs to be made,” he added.

When asked what led him to plan a biopic on Singh, the filmmaker said, “He is a source of inspiration for everyone. He came from a very poor family, grew up in an orphanage, he was a fighter and single-minded about what he did. At that point of time, he was a world level sportsman without any facilities. It was purely because of his gumption and gut. He was different from anyone I had met.”

Singh won the Asian Games gold in 1998 and was bestowed with Arjuna award in the same year. He and was awarded with the Padma Shri in 2013.

Tags: Dingko Singh, Raja Krishna Menon, Shahid Kapoor