Bollywood films have a long history of defaming Sikhs. They see Sikhs as a cartoon character that can be shown however it may please them.
Popular media is stereotyping the Sikhs as either clowns with no brain or terrorists. While Sikhs are negatively represented, they are widely recognized in modern media. Trimmed darhis, the dehumanization of women, and obsession over alcohol defining Punjabi masculinity always make their way into Punjabi movies and music.
There are a number of objectionable points in the picture released by Prabhu Deva of film Singh is Bling. We will leave it for readers to decide.
In the film ‘Son of Sardar’ an actor playing a Sikh was shown with a ‘Shiva Tattoo’ which is prohibited as it represents idol worship. The film had a number of controversial dialogues which were removed after the team of the film met with Sikh religious authorities.
Religious sentiments are especially hurt because Sikhs have contributed immensely for India throughout history. The film makers fail to show Sikh contributions but rather mock their appearance or make them look like a comic character.
The problem arises when stereotypes get created which has now occurred. A Sikh character is almost always shown as a over joyous fool.
Here are some films which have insulted Sikhs:
Movie: Dil to Pagal Hai
Release date: 31 October 1997
Portrayal: A Sikh knows that his friend had an affair with his sister, and he uses cheap words
Movie Name: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Release date: 16 October 1998
Portrayal: Song – Ik Nikke Jehe Neyane Nu Sardar Bana Ke Mazak Uddan De Usda…
Movie Name: Sangharsh
Release date: 3 September 1999
Portrayal: The slogan Raj Karega Khalsa is misused and misinterpreted by Preity Zinta’s brother who is shown to be a Sikh “terrorist”
Movie: Shaheed Udham Singh
Release date: 2000
Portrayal: Raj Babbar plays the man who took revenge on the British.
Movie Name: Mission Kashmir
Release date: 27 October 2000
Portrayal: The movie starts from a scene where a Sikh is portrayed as a very cowardly person
Movie Name: Mohabbatein
Release date: 27 October 2000
Portrayal: Anupam Kher wears patka and spreads hate.
Movie: Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Release date: 15 June 2001
Portrayal: Sunny Deol is a Sikh who slaughters Muslims in the name of Waheguru during the Partition. He is shown as an
illiterate and marries a Muslim girl. However, he is shown as a sehajdhari Sikh who preserves the art of turban wearing and
retains the message of Sikhi and is ashamed of his sins.
Movie: Jo Bole So Nihaal
Release date: 13 May 2005
Portrayal: Sunny Deol portrays a Sikh in a very distasteful manner, as he is filled with ego and shown as illiterate
and stupid. His mother is shown as an Amritdhari and a sick, idiotic woman. Deol is a Sikh police officer is shown
being chased by scantily-clad women. The Sikh FBI agent is forgetful of Sikh beliefs and has a bad dressing sense.
However, the movie does present/promote some Sikh teachings/beliefs in its plot.
Movie: Bunty Aur Babli
Release date: May 27, 2005
Portrayal: Rani Mukherjee is a Sikh girl who smokes
Movie Name: Shootout at Lokhandwala
Release date: May 25, 2007
Portrayal: Sikh revolutionaries are labelled terrorists and are compared with underworld dons.
Movie: Return of Hanuman (previously Hanuman Returns)
Release date: 28 December 2007
Portrayal: The school Headmaster of Hanuman is shown to be a Sardar
who behaves in a disgusting way. This is used to promote Hinduism over Sikhi, and defame Sikhs by showing them
as arrogant/condescending and labeling them as a cult of Hindus.
Movie: Singh is Kinng
Release date: 8 August 2008
Portrayal: At times Akshay Kumar’s character sported a trimmed beard and fake turban, but this was later changed. He
is shown as a useless, stupid, illiterate guy. However, the movie does promote some religious beliefs and teachings.