Makers of Punjabi film Sadda Haq travelled all the way to Surrey to thank the community for their support in lifting a controversial ban on the movie in Punjab.
“The people of Surrey and all of Canada — they have supported this movie, despite the ban in Punjab. The people have showed so much love to this film and we thank all our supporters that have given us a huge response,” writer and producer Kuljinder Singh told Vancouver Desi in between his “thank you tour” across Surrey this weekend.
“The kind of support we were getting from all over the world … it has helped us.”
And thanks to that global support, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban April 26 and the film was released in Punjab May 10.
The movie delivers an account of the Khalistan movement in India in the ‘90s. 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 — one of the first films to accurately portray the 1984 attack on the Golden Temple and the Sikh riots that continued into the ‘90s.
“We wanted to tell a story of that time,” said Sidhu. “Why Punjab has faced that turmoil, why youngsters — Sikh youth especially — raised arms against their own government.
“History repeats itself unless we learn a lesson from it, so that was the (moral) of that film.”
While Sidhu also wants his work to entertain the audience, he whole-heartedly believes in “meaningful cinema.”
“We believe cinema should have dual purpose … entertain and educate,” he said.
"The message is the most important thing,” added, Dinesh Sood, actor in Sadda Haq. “A very strong message of non-violence, (so) this will definitely help our viewers.
“People didn’t know (the history) — especially the new generation – they are not aware what were the causes, what were the reasons for that militance in Punjab.
“So it was our responsibility to make a balanced movie and to show in fact what happened in Punjab during those days.”
The two will continue their tour through Surrey until Tuesday, thanking the city, but also continuing to spread their positive message.
“The Sikh community is still fighting for its right in India, so they should keep up their fight, but with peaceful means,” said Sidhu. “No one believes in violence – all over the world, no one appreciates violent means, so if we want to fight for our rights we should fight in a peaceful way.”