Thursday, April 12, 2018

'Nanak Shah Fakir' Movie Controversy...

Have you ever asked your mum, “How’s my dastaar?” And she says (without looking in your direction, let alone look at the dastaar), “yeah, its fine.” Then when you sit in the car ready to go where are you going, she says: “O dear! Didn’t you look in the mirror today when tying your dastaar? You should have re-tied it and made it look nicer.”

The above sums up the SGPC in the whole controversy over the controversial film ‘Nanak Shah Fakeer’. I can imagine the SGPC were busy tucking into Pakoray, Samosay and Jaleebis in their office when the film producer walked in and said “Hi guys, is this film that I have made okay with you all?” Response, “Yeah, yeah that's fine.... show it in all gurdwaras. No that's done, can you please pass the sauce and chutney whilst your standing.”

Two years later they actually bothered to look at the trailer of the movie and thought “O Lord! Who on earth allowed this film to be made. This needs banning.” 

The same SGPC and Giani Gurbachan Singh that is seeking to ban the movie, are the ones who had earlier given a clean chit to make the movie:


1) No individual can act or play the role of any of the Guru Sahibans or their family members in accordance to a ruling an earlier ruling from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and the SGPC.
In the movie, Harish Khanna plays the role of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, however the movie makers have used silhouette lighting to hide his identity. Bollywood actors play the role of Mata Tripta Ji, Pita Kalyan Das Ji, Bebe Nanaki, Bhai Jai Ram Ji, and Bhai Mardana Ji.

2. The movie suggests in one scene that all religions and philosophies come from Hinduism
Sikhi does not originate from Hinduism. Sikhi is a unique revealed religion. Our concept of God, Saviour, holy scriptures, birth rites, initiation rites, marriage rites, death rites, uniform, articles of faith, religious places of worship, religious authority and daily prayers are all different from Hinduism.

3. The "Aum" sign of Hindus is shown in the sky in one scene.
What has this got to do with a film claiming to be preaching Sikhi?

4. The actor playing Bebe Nanaki Ji in the film is wearing a black thread in the movie.
Sikhi is against superstitious rituals. The movie is discreetly promoting them. How is this promoting Sikhi?

6. The film promotes "Deh" (body) "Pooja" (worship). Our Guru is Jyot and Shabd. We are supposed to follow Guru Ji's message and immerse in Gurbani, not get physically attached any body.
A Sikh's life changes by listening, accepting and loving the Word of the Guru. The body of the Guru for us is the Khalsa, represented in the Panj Pyaare. Any other attempts to depict the Guru's physically whether with paintings, models, idols or actors are contrary to Gurmat.

7. The movie-maker Harinder Sikka in a Zee news documentary is seen promoting Hindu mythology and on the fore-front of a project trying to revive a site that claims Sita was held captive by the Raavan in the story of Ramayan.
This makes Sikhs suspicious of his claims that he had a dream of Guru Nanak Dev Ji who told him to make this movie, and what his real motives are.


I was listening to a Parchaarik talk about the controversial film ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ that Sikhs wish to see banned. Below I have paraphased what was said in the Katha:

“The controversy began when Sikhs began to put up depicted images of the Guru in their homes. First of all they made us accept that we accept the image as Guru. Talk of who played Bebe Nanaki Ji, Bhai Mardana Ji, and how Guru Nanak Dev Ji was depicted in the movie came after. Gurbani says:
ਬੁਤ ਪੂਜਿ ਪੂਜਿ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੂਏ ਤੁਰਕ ਮੂਏ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਾਈ ॥ 
“Worshipping their idols, the Hindus (spiritually) die; the Muslims die bowing their heads (towards Mecca thinking God lives there).” 
(Sorath Kabeer Ji, 654)
Gurbani says that the Hindus became spiritually dead by worshipping idols. Today idols have been made of the Guru that brought us this Bani. Images made with the imagination of the mind have come into our homes. Some Deras claim that their Baba revealed the picture of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and invited an artist to make a painting. Things should have been stopped then. The Guru’s Word is the Guru, the Guru’s message is the Guru. Japji Sahib is our Guru for us. During the time of the Guru, were there no artists? Why didn’t the Gurus get artists to paint them? When the Guru is the Word, then why have images. The movie Nanak Shah Fakir has violated all principles of Gurmat… 

The SGPC gave permission for this movie but when they realised it has sparked controversy they took back their permission and sought a ban. This is not an issue of banning a movie. Can Sikhi Parchaar only be done via movies? I remember when Chaar Sahibzaade animation movie came on in the cinema, some families came out crying. They said, “We are 40 years old, we are 50 years old, and only today we found out the sacrifices of the Chaar Sahibzaade.” This is a question mark for our community. If took this movie, after such a long time, to just get that message across, then what have the 4 or 5 Gurdwaras built in the village done all this time? This is a big question… What are these Gurdwaras made for? 

Until we do not study ourselves, we will continue to have these controversies. During Gurpurbs like Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Prakaash Divas, people send messages to one another on WhatsApp with these pictures depicting the Guru. These are then forwarded on. Things should have stopped there, but it didn’t..."

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