Surrey’s Sikhs flock to see film about Khalistan movement that is banned in India

Published: April 25, 2013

 

Sadda Haq poster

The Punjabi film, ‘Sadda Haq,’ written by Kuljinder Sidhu, delivers an account of the Khalistan movement in India in the 1990s. Submitted photo

 

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Sikhs in Surrey and across the globe have been streaming into local theatres to support a new film currently banned in Punjab.

The Punjabi film, “Sadda Haq,” written by Kuljinder Sidhu, delivers an account of the Khalistan movement in India in the 1990s. The plot follows a Canadian researcher who travels to the country to interview imprisoned Khalistan militants. Through her interviews their tragic lives are revealed, detailing their hardships, the violence and rape that plagued their families.

“(There is) an enormous amount of misrepresentation on the Sikh militant movement … which has been a taboo subject,” said Langara College’s department of sociology chair Indira Prahst. “This is a very courageous film.”

“(It portrays how the) law was suspended, how the police actually engaged in torture and imprisonment without lawyers, with absolute violation of human rights.”

While the film’s Punjabi ban will go before India’s Supreme Court Friday, Surrey’s Sikh community has flooded the Cineplex Odeon Strawberry Hills Cinemas on 72nd Avenue since the movie’s Canadian release.

“It’s been extremely well attended,” said Cineplex spokesman Mike Langdon. “We’ve had a number of our evening shows sell out.”

IFRAME Embed for Youtube

According to Prahst, the film finally gives non-resident Indians the chance to “connect with their history freely.”

“This subject resonates very strongly with our diaspora Sikhs,” she said.

Living as a minority in India following the 1984 attack on the Golden Temple, Sikhs were often faced with oppression that lasted well into the late 1990s. As a result, many fled to Canada as refugees or joined the militant movement.

“That part of history has not been represented much in the mainstream — especially outside of the label ‘terrorism,’” said Prahst. “(And the movie) is about the social conditions that militants lived in and why some of them took arms and the sacrifices that some of them made for their Sikh faith.”

For Burnaby’s Indy Panchi, the film was “very moving” and like nothing he’s seen before.

“Innocent families got involved in something that they shouldn’t have got involved in and the state police was out of control,” he said. “Within that a lot of innocent youngsters, students, families got wiped out as well.”

“That could have been my brother, that could have been my sister.”

According to Prahst, the movie captures real life stories and accurately depicts history — without propaganda.

“Their lives and sacrifices and stories are coming to life,” she said. “This is a really good tool to teach youth about some of these martyrs or prisoners.”

And the Punjabi ban only demonstrates India won’t “own up to its own atrocities,” she said.

“India was lawless in that time — it’s an embarrassment for India,” she said. “It has not learned about reconciliation.”

Prahst believes the country needs to reconcile with Sikhs like Germany’s attempt to reconcile with the Jewish community.

“There are some Sikhs that are so hurt by this,” she said. “The support we’re seeing (outside of India) is a global movement right now.”

“To send a message that violence with impunity and human rights violations and freedom of speech will no longer be tolerated.”

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

babe SEXY BOLLYWOOD desi

B.C.’s Miss India Canada pageant contestant sues ex-boyfriend to pay for tuition for failed class after breakup

KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS — A 22-year-old B.C. woman is suing her ex-boyfriend to pay tuition for a class she says she failed due to distress…
Continue Reading »

Longtime Surrey politician and former mayor Bob Bose is pictured here near his south Surrey home on Monday, November 21, 2011. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose backs Barinder Rasode, says no Surrey Matters slate coming

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Though Coun. Barinder Rasode has yet to officially announce her intentions to run for the city’s top job, she’s…
Continue Reading »

A Pakistani-Canadian blogger has released Pakistan's first-ever anti-homophobia children's book. Submitted photo/Nicemangos.blogspot.ca.

Toronto-based blogger releases Pakistan’s first anti-homophobia children’s book

VANCOUVER DESI A Toronto-based Pakistani blogger has written and released Pakistan’s first-ever anti-homophobia children’s book. Blogger Eiynah, known for her site Nice Mangos where she…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

babe SEXY BOLLYWOOD desi

B.C.’s Miss India Canada pageant contestant sues ex-boyfriend to pay for tuition for failed class after breakup

KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS — A 22-year-old B.C. woman is suing her ex-boyfriend to pay tuition for a class she says she failed due to distress…
Continue Reading »

Longtime Surrey politician and former mayor Bob Bose is pictured here near his south Surrey home on Monday, November 21, 2011. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose backs Barinder Rasode, says no Surrey Matters slate coming

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Though Coun. Barinder Rasode has yet to officially announce her intentions to run for the city’s top job, she’s…
Continue Reading »

A Pakistani-Canadian blogger has released Pakistan's first-ever anti-homophobia children's book. Submitted photo/Nicemangos.blogspot.ca.

Toronto-based blogger releases Pakistan’s first anti-homophobia children’s book

VANCOUVER DESI A Toronto-based Pakistani blogger has written and released Pakistan’s first-ever anti-homophobia children’s book. Blogger Eiynah, known for her site Nice Mangos where she…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

India

Man proudly wears world’s largest turban weighing in at 100 pounds and 645 metres long unwrapped

VANCOUVER DESI A 60-year-old devout Sikh in northern India appears to be the proud owner of the world’s largest turban – weighing in at 100…
Continue Reading »

Elephant headed god

Gallery: India prepares to welcome elephant-headed Lord Ganesha

VANCOUVER DESI Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed god, have taken off in India as Hindus prepare to welcome…
Continue Reading »

Witches Burned Victim Alive In Front Of Family

Witches burn Indian dad alive in a bizarre ritual in front of his wife and 10-year-old son

CEN AGENCY Witches who burned a man alive after chopping off his arms in a bizarre ritual have been seized by police in central India….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament and Indian Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal arrives in Parliament in New Delhi on May 20, 2014. India's Narendra Modi is expected to formally declare his intention to form the next government May 20, days after his Hindu nationalist party won the first parliamentary majority in three decades. PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

No one else can play the role: Paresh Rawal on Modi biopic

IANS Mumbai  – Versatile actor Paresh Rawal, who will soon start shooting for a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says he is the right…
Continue Reading »

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Gallery: Deepika Padukone photo shoot

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is creating a lot of buzz with her upcoming film Finding Fanny, poses for the camera. Related Stories:…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood desi boobs sex

Bollywood’s bold babe Sherlyn Chopra strips for Playboy

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra marks the first-ever Indian model to pose for Playboy magazine, according to eonline.com. While the 30-year-old announced she’d be…
Continue Reading »