Sir Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson stop by Google to talk about their latest film, “Learning to Drive”. Ben Kingsley praised the Sikh community for their generosity and “beautiful” religious values they adhere to.
The soft spoken Sikh cab driver in his latest movie, Sir Ben Kingsley describes the feeling of the turban on his head as “really gratifying” and termed the discrimination and racial abuse faced by the community in the US as “totally regrettable”.
Kingsley plays a soft-spoken and righteous cab driver, proud of his Sikh identity, who settles in New York after getting political asylum in the country. Apart from working as a cab driver, Tur is also a driving instructor.
Kingsley said city-based social activist Harpreet Singh Toor provided valuable help during the shooting of the movie, telling him about the minute mannerisms of a Sikh and helping him tie the turban.
“To feel the tightness of (the turban) on my head was really gratifying. As Sikhs are warriors, I felt I was putting on my armour, which is a glorious feeling,” Kingsley told a select group of media persons during an interaction here.
He said the Sikh community in New York was “very generous” during the filming of the movie and invited the crew to shoot scenes in the local Gurudwara.
“The crew was so grateful to have had the opportunity to work there. The temple is a beautiful island of order, decency, worship and family in a sea of neurosis. It is a calm island in the middle of Queens,” he said.
“It is totally regrettable,” Kingsley told PTI at the interaction when asked about the discrimination and racial abuse that members of the Sikh community continue to face, particularly in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
“The Sikh drivers after 9/11 turned off all their meters and were slowing down and asking people where is your loved one, I will help you find them. All the Sikh community in New York, beautiful,” he said adding that “it is a complete reversal of what they are stamped with.
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