March 22, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Vancouver, BC (March 20, 2013): After securing the distribution rights to the film “Sadda Haq” in Canada, the Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC) is seeing a wave of support from communities across Canada in regards to the film that was initially banned by the controversial Indian Censor Board. The film is a revealing and truthful account of the period of militancy in Punjab that spanned the 1980s and 1990s. It brings forward the conditions of the Punjab and its population and role of the central government in orchestrating what would be a genocidal campaign against the Sikh population.
After a period of physical oppression and torture that was inflicted upon the people of Punjab, the central government of the Indian Union carried out a wide-spread information suppression and propaganda campaign that was aimed at maligning the Sikh community across the country and in some cases, removing altogether the events of that period from archives and history books. The biased versions presented to an already tortured and repressed population took its toll over almost 2 decades of silence in which the population was kept quiet via the fear of torture and violence at the hands of the very defenders of the law, the police.
Most recently, members of the CSC were in Calgary Alberta to engage the Punjabi community and media outlets. After meeting with various segments of the community that are representative of the religious, cultural and media bodies in the city, the CSC has received unconditional support from all the sources they have encountered. The United Sikh Federation has pledged to purchase 1,500 tickets to screenings of the film on behalf of the Sikh community and the Dashmesh Culture Centre Gurdwara has committed to marketing and supporting the event from its stage which serves Calgary’s 50,000 plus Sikh community. Additionally, a press conference was held with the Calgary Punjabi Press Club who have offered to promote and support the film to the best of their ability.This unprecedented response to the film shows the extent to which members of the Punjabi/Sikh community would like to engage in avenues to have discourse on the issue of 1984 and the freedom struggle that ensured thereafter.
According to Canadian Sikh Coalition Director Parvkar Singh Dulai who was heading the meetings in Calgary, “It is of utmost importance that the Sikh community analyze the events of the past 3 decades to ensure it is receiving first hand truthful accounts rather than the biased propaganda being thrown our way by the state. The overwhelming response from the Punjabi community in Calgary, just like Vancouver, for Sadda Haq makes it very clear that there is a vacuum for information in the community, especially around the events post 1984 and into the mid 1990s. Being in the diaspora community and living in a nation where freedom of speech still means something, it is our responsibility to be a voice for those back in Punjab who are still struggling to re-find theirs.”
Further information in regards to the film and show dates will be updated as they become available and the world-wide release of the film is slated for April 5, 2013 in select Cineplex Theatres across Canada.
Source: Canadian Sikh Coalition
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