Kaya Taran to Punjab1984: Indian cinema's tryst with anti-sikh riots

  • Neetika Walter, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 27, 2014 19:14 IST

Making movies on conflict issues is not new to Indian Cinema. Be it the story of ripped up India after partition or the anti-sikh riots or the 2002 godhra riots, Indian cinema has always picked up the issues that had shaken the country at one point in time.

Recently, the Punjabi cinema, has taken a step forward and made films on the emotional subject of 1984 anti-sikh riots. Diljit Dosanjh and Kirron Kher starrer Punjab 1984 , that released on Friday, also received a massive response and is claimed to break the record of Highest Opening in Punjabi Cinema.

Sadda Haq (2013)


Based on the true set of events during a period of extreme turmoil in Punjab, Sadda Haq portrays what prompted young men in the state to rise up and fight against a corrupt police and government system. The movie narrates a story of Sharon Gill, a Canadian Sikh graduate student who travels to India to collect data for her thesis on minorities at war. Revelations generates such curiosity that she ends up meeting Kartaar Singh, a hockey player, who takes a fight against corrupt government practices following life experiences.

Hawaayein (2003)


Released in 2003, Hawayein is a Bollywood movie starring Babbu Mann, Ammtoje Mann, and Sunny Mann. Directed by Ammtoje Mann, the film is set against the backdrop of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The film isna story of ‘Sarabjit’, a music loving student who after the riots turns to terrorism.

Kaya Taran (2004)


A highly acclaimed film directed by Sashi Kumar, Kaya Taran is based on Malayalam short story When Big Tree Falls written by NS Madhavan. Starring Seema Biswas and Angad Bedi, the film weaves a story of a Sikh woman and her son who took shelter in a Meerut-based nunnery during the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots.

Kush (2013)

Shubhashish Bhutiani’s 20-minute drama on 1984 anti-Sikh riots, ‘Kush’ won the Best Short Film award at the 70th edition of the world’s oldest, Venice Film Festival in Italy last September. It was the only Indian film to have made it to the Orizzonti (Horizons) section dedicated to new trends, which had 30 other films competing for a Jury Prize besides Best Film and Short Film at the August 28-September 7 festival. The Hindi movie is about a lone Sikh boy named Kush in a group of 10-year-old at a school picnic, who is protected by a teacher as riots rage after the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi. Behind the movie, starring Shayaan Sameer as Kush and Sonika Chopra as the teacher, is a real-life inspiration and a 22-year-old Mumbai-born, Mussoorie-bred director, Bhutiani, who made it for graduation at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Bhutiani said the story was of his Class 11 economics teacher.

47 to 84 (2014)


Starring Nattasha Rana, Zafar Dhillon, Mahaveer Bhullar, Neelam Sivia, Hardeep Gill among others, the film ’47 to 84'was released on May 30. The film captured the journey of a young Sikh girl named Sukhmani who lost her family to the Indo-Pak partition. The girl had to leave Pakistan and move to to Delhi, where she builds her life all over again. But her world turns upside down once again during the anti-sikh Genocide of 1984 as she lives of her loved ones is in danger again.

Jaane Kyun (2014)

Vir Das and Soha Ali Khan starrer, Janne Kyun is scheduled to release in October this year. The film that was earlier titled October 31, has been re-christened as Janne Kyun…The Unanswered Question Based on the backdrop of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the film is a true story of a family who survived the night of October 31, 1984.

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1984: A tragic story
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