November 14, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
author: H. S. Bawa*
Bollywood Star Ajay Devgn recently specially flew to Amritsar to ‘clear’ his position regarding some objections raised over by members of the Sikh community over his forthcoming film ‘Son of Sardar’.
An advocate Navkiran Singh had sent a legal notice to Devgn objecting to some dialogues, which he claimed portrayed the Sikh community in bad light.
After that AISSF president Karnail Singh Peermohammad met Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and handed over a written complaint to him. He raised an additional objection pointing out that the turbaned Sikh character, playing lead role in the film, enacted by Devgn himself, displays a tattoo of Lord Shiva on his chest, which was not in accordance with the tenets of Sikhism.
Devgn sought to clear the controversy by stating, that he himself belonged to a family from Attari in Punjab and would never hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs.
He also said that special care was taken while filming the movie and an expert flew at least for 20 times to tie the turban so that no objections were raised.
He also narrated the story of the film to a SGPC panel and some other Sikh groups and said that there was nothing objectionable in the film and that he would be presenting a copy of the film.
He addressed a press conference saying so, and it was flashed in the media, and the Sikhs are happy. Some of us are claiming victory, some of us are expressing satisfaction and some of us have gone to the extent of praising Devgn telling how concerned he was and what respect he had for the community.
BUT my dears, though it’s a first time for Ajay Devgn, it is not for the first time with Sikhs.
It had happened earlier too. So many times, and it is developing into a pattern. A pattern followed by filmmaker after filmmaker.
MIND it. The Sikhs have not won, neither in this case nor in the earlier cases. The winners are these Bollywood people and the losers in every case had been Sikhs.
Let us discuss the pattern followed by Bollywood:
The Sikhs and Punjabis and of course Punjabi language have become a formula of success in Bollywood. Punjabi songs are super-hits. Punjabi dialogues are received well and a Sikh character sure shot gets attention and an added publicity besides ensured and increased Sikh and Punjabi audience.
Films with Sikh characters have done remarkable business. So, every actor in the Bollywood wants to play a Sikh Character at least for once, every director wants a hit movie and every producer wants to earn big money.
‘Jo Bole So Nihal’, ‘Singh is King’ and ‘Son of Sardar’ do not fall into the category of ordinary Bollywood films. The amount involved was and is enormous and the box-office collections for such films run into hundreds of crores.
Let’s take the case of ‘Son of Sardar’. Since there were controversies regarding the two earlier films, did Ajay or the Director or the Producer hire a consultant for a few lakh who would tell them at the time of scripting or shooting that what was wrong and what was right in case of a Sikh character. No.
They simply went ahead with their attitude saying ‘let it be’. Then they put something objectionable on the You Tube in the shape of a promo and as expected it was objected to. It became a controversy. It hit the headlines, the film got much needed publicity.
Isn’t it a pattern?
They make a film on us….they don’t consult a Sikh….they keep something objectionable in the film…. a controversy erupts…..people say Sikhs always create controversies….they say Sikhs are always up to some trouble……..the film gets mired into a controversy…..it makes headlines…..gets much needed publicity…then they come to say sorry…..and tell that they have all the respect for the community……and get away with it to make moolah on the cost of Sikhs even as the damage to the Sikh community had already been done.
I would like to explain, how amd why I say that the damage has already been done. The objectionable parts and pictures of the movie are already out in the open, in the public. Lakhs and crores of people have seen and heard those parts and even dubbed Sikhs for being ‘narrow minded’, to be always objecting to something or the other even as the points raised are always valid, always objectionable like this time. Devgn, while addressing press conference at Amritsar, had himself admitted that though he would make amend in the film to be released he had no control on the content that has gone on internet.
We have lost, once again, this time to Ajay Devgn. He is the gainer, We are the losers. He will make money on our cost, on the cost of reputation of Sikhs. He will rake in extra money by first creating and then solving a controversy about Sikhs, by first painting the Sikhs in bad light and then saying sorry and being projected large-hearted.
‘Jo Bole So Nihal’, ‘Singh is King’ and now ‘Son of Sardar’. Compare the controversies and compare how these were resolved. Don’t you find similarities? Don’t you see a pattern?
I still maintain, even in this case, like the previous ones, Bollywood is the winner and Sikhs are the losers. We have lost, once again.
If you agree with me, fine. If you don’t, be ready for another film on Sikhs and the same pattern to be followed.
* H.S. Bawa is a senior journalist of Punjab and Editor of Online news portal – YesPunjab.Com. Above write is a YesPunjab Editorial authored by H.S. Bawa and was originally published by YesPunjab.Com at:- http://www.yespunjab.com/yespunjab-editorials/item/7372-%E2%80%98son-of-sardar%E2%80%99-sikhs-have-lost-it-once-again.
Author may be contacted via YesPunjab.Com.
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