The film made by Harinder Singh Sikka has garnered rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival and also at the Sikh Film Festivals at Toronto and Los Angeles but is receiving a lot of flak in India
I read about this one film in the paper the other day, Nanak Shah Fakir. The film is a biopic on the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. I was surprised and intrigued at the same time because this would be the first time ever in the history of Sikhism that someone has captured the life of a Guru on film. So I immediately googled it up to check more about the film and this is what I found…
The president of a radical Sikh group (Dal Khalsa), Mr Kanwarpal Singh had sent a warning letter to the filmmaker, Hrinder Sikka, to not release the film as it hurts the religious sentiments of Sikh all over the world. The letter pointed out that portraying a Guru or his family in a human form is prohibited by Sikh tenets. In his letter, Mr Singh says, “Whether through computer graphics or through blurred images, you are striking at the roots of our faith and that is simply intolerable. What you are about to do with the release of your movie is nothing short of blasphemy.”
Fair point well made!
Just because Guru Nanak spent his entire life making people see logic and stop following religion blindly (the root of our faith), that does not mean that we should actually start using sense in religion, right? We should and we will completely ignore the basic idea behind prohibition of human portrayal of Gurus, which I believe is to not promote idol worship (because if you see someone as a Guru, there are chances that you might picture him in your mind when you’re praying).
So what if the filmmaker has not shown the face of the Guru through out the film even once complying to the logic behind the said tenet? So what? He clearly hasn’t followed the commandment word to word, so we cannot tolerate it. Mr Singh, surely we have to protect our roots.
And how dare he? How dare Sikka try to showcase a story as beautiful and as great as this one? It is truly blasphemous! I mean, if we force someone to change his religion in order to recite Gurbani, that is okay. If we do not let a follower of Nanak pray from the Gurugranth Sahib, because he’s a Hindu, that too is not blasphemous. But presenting Guru Sahib’s story to the whole world! What was he thinking?
I’d like to thank you Mr Singh, for informing Sikka, on behalf of the Sikh community, that he is “taking the entire Sikh community down through his movie” and also that he’s “offending the sentiments of Sikh all over the world”. As a Sikh, I do feel that the community is being taken down and I’m also offended, but Mr Singh, Harinder Sikka is not the reason!