Manje Bistre: Sikh characters misrepresented in Bollywood films, says Gippy Grewal
Actor-singer Gippy Grewal, who features in latest Punjabi release Manje Bistre and will soon be seen in upcoming Bollywood film Lucknow Central, says characters of Sikh community are mostly projected as silly and comical, which is a misrepresentation.
Gippy plays a ‘sardar’ in his Farhan Akhtar starrer Lucknow Central. He said, “I think ‘sardarji’ characters are misrepresented in Bollywood films many times. People make fun of sardar characters... There are so many jokes on them. I think that is happening because of lack of insight and knowledge about our community, our culture and contribution to our country.”
“For instance, in Lucknow Central, there are sequences where I suggested to do a scene in a certain way to build an emotional connection with Punjabi audience. We did that. I think just putting a turban on head and changing the language from Hindi to Punjabi does not make a one a Punjabi. Punjabi da dil hona chaida (you need the heart of a Punjabi),” Gippy added.
Born in Ludhiana, Gippy learnt folk music and grew up listening to various Punjabi singers including Kuldeep Manak and watched yesteryear superstar Dharmendra’s film. His singing talent was noticed with the song Phulkari, and he has also featured in movies like Mirza: The Untold Story and Jatt James Bond.
“Since Dharam-paji is from our village (Ludhiana), I remember in my childhood, how we would go to watch his movies with families and neighbours riding our cars, just to support his films at the first place. Of course, he is a great actor. but he is our star, he is from our village. It was same emotion with Sunny Deol, his son. We Punjabis are emotional people,” Gippy said.
Also known for the song Angrezi beat, Gippy has also collaborated with Yo Yo Honey Singh, Badshah and sung along with Diljit Dosanjh.
Now that all of them are making a mark in Bollywood, asked if he feels a pressure of competition with them, Gippy said, “I feel they are an extended part of my family. I started working with them in the beginning of my career. I sung so many songs with Diljit, I still work with Badshah. Recently, in my film Kaptaan, we worked on a song. So, we are like brothers. I can compete with others, not with them.”