Sikh groups from across the world have started to speak out and launch petitions against the film “Nanak Shah Fakir.” The film not only shows a human playing Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s role but also of Mata Tripta ji, Bebe Nanaki ji and Mata Sulakhni.
The groups Sikh Youth of Punjab, Dal Khalsa, and SGPC have have objected to humans playing roles of Sikh gurus and their family members and want a ban on the film.
Harinder Sikka in one of his interviews has stated Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh, SGPC Head Avtar Singh Makkar, and Sukhbir Badal have all watched the movie and other then 2 dialogues had no objection.
Akal Takht and SGPC Response
The Akal Takht Jathedar stated he never endorsed the film and to say so in the trailer is completely wrong. The SGPC stated the film will be stopped from release at all costs and will do everything it can to stop the film from hitting the cinemas in April.
Avtar Singh Makkar said, “SGPC never gave approval for the film nor has the Akal Takht.” He went onto say that the SGPC and Akal Takht never agreed to the film’s approval and any attempts by the makers to highlight Akal Takht’s approval is false.
Makkar went onto say the Akal Takht Jathedar never expressed any sentiments about the film and stating Akal Takht gave blessing to the film is false and an attempt to gain support from the Sikh sangat.
A Petition launched by Singh Station States the following:
“This is really important as Sikh Gurus are not limited to just being humans.
Such movies will just be opening the door to people to draw our Guru in different forms that could affect His status in the hearts of his people.
While no one knows Guru Sahib’s (God) true appearance, the film-makers these days seek to emulate him as closely as possible – including in what they believe to be his physical features and dress with long beard contending that was Guru Sahib’s (God’s) manner.
For Sikh community, it is not bearable at all that even Guru Nanak Dev ji’s wife or parents be acted upon by any human characters as is happening in this movie. Sikh community wont accept any humans playing the characters of Mata Sulakhni ji (wife of Founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak Dev Ji) and Bebe Nanki ji (SIster of Guru Nanak Dev ji).
The film is scheduled to be released on April 17th.
The movie has already been boycotted by many Sikh groups in India and We urge the Australian Censor board to ban this movie as well unless the film makers remove the human characters playing the role of Mata Tripta ji, Bebe Nanaki ji and Mata Sulakhni ji in the movie.”
An insider from the film recently revealed about a human whose played Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s role:
A person who was on the sets of “Nanak Shah Fakir” has put allegations against the film and said, “a human played Guru Nanak’s Role in the film and not an animation.” The person who doesn’t want his identity known said, ” A person played Guru Ji’s role and the team only put a special effect on the human to make it appear like an animation with use of light but I personally saw who played the role. People in the industry know there was no use of animation only special effect.” The person has been in talks with people within the Punjabi film industry who are unhappy of the portrayal of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the film.
The SGPC has said, “all efforts will be made to stop the release of the film” as internal sources within the SGPC know that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s role was played by a person.
Producer and writer of the story Harinder Sikka maintained in all of his interviews that an animation was used for the film but a source has revealed otherwise. The person who wants to remain anonymous says he was on the sets in Leh/Ladakh while the shooting of the film took place and a man who lives in Mumbai (who he didn’t want to name due to security reasons) played Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s role.
The topic of making films on Sikh gurus is very delicate because very deep sentiments are tied to the Sikh Gurus and their teachings. The common opinion against making films on Sikh gurus is that once someone plays Guru Nanak’s role others will make films which can have negative impacts. It is impossible for any human to play Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s role as he was the perfect Guru and no one can be perfect enough to portray Guru Sahib.
However, many people in the Sikh community feel that to teach others about the faith a film can spread more awareness then writings as films have a bigger audience. The problem arises when a role isn’t portrayed accurately and those who are ignorant about the faith start to criticize the film and develop negative opinions on the faith. This contributes to a downward spiral of effects which can hurt the faith in the long run as people don’t remember what the truth of the faith is rather what they saw in a movie.