I am a Sikh and I am not happy with the costume of The Flying Jatt by Sehajpreet Singh.
Director Remo D’Souza is coming up with a new movie by the name of The Flying Jatt, due to be released in 2016. The plot of the movie with an India Super hero seems nice and interesting but the way Tiger Shroff has been dressed is not at all ok. If at all it is disrespectful and it sends out a completely negative message.
The article in Mumbai Mirror newspaper and their website states that the costume of this super hero movie is inspired from the Sikh Warriors known as Nihang who are renowned worldwide for their bravery and their skills at handling weapons. These are the people who fought and beat many armies in spite of being vastly outnumbered. Nihang’s have a proper dresscode or a uniform. Traditional Nihang dress is known as Khalsa Swarupa meaning “Khalsa’s appearance”. This comprises full attire of supe relectric blue adorned with various weapons and Khanda is one of them. They also incorporate weapons in their turban which is an integral part of their lifestyle. No Nihang or for that matter a Sikh is ever complete without his turban. A simple google search will give you a brief description about what exactly a Nihang is and what his attire is.
I actually felt proud when I read in the newspaper very long back that a Bollywood movie is coming up which will have an Indian Sikh super hero. But that feeling was short lived and it passed away the moment I saw the poster for the movie. What I expected was a handsome man dressed in a Turban with proper beard and a master at the art of Gatka.
But what I saw was a complete mockery and felt like a blow to the face. A man dressed as a Nihang but with shaved face and cut hair and no turban? What kind of an inspiration is that where you completely ruin the whole appearance of a legendary army? I am not against the use of the Khanda but the way this has been put on a Nihang’s uniform and is being adorned by a clean shaved man is the fact that makes me angry and upset at the same time.
Worst part is that the article was titled “The actor’s superhero costume comes with the blessings of Sikh gurus.” And Mr. Remo says that he showed the film’s script and the costume to Sikh religious leaders and began shooting for the film only when he had their approval. I want to ask Mr. Remo that why did he have to do something that would even need the permission and approval of the so called Sikh Leaders? And what is wrong with these Sikh leaders that they give permissions blindly? Did religious leaders approve a film without even the character having turban?
Neither am I asking anyone to start burning the posters nor do I want people start to calling the film makers bad names. Mr. Remo is a talented man who has proved his worth in the past. All I am asking for is that Bollywood should start respecting Sikh’s and their feelings. They want to make movies “Inspired” from Sikhs and earn crores from them? We Sikhs welcome them to do so but atleast do so properly without having controversial content in it. Why couldn’t Tiger Shroff be shown as a proper Sikh Nihang? I am pretty sure he would have looked amazing and still would have done business worth crores. Showing a Nihang Inspired clean shaved man with a khanda on his chest just feels wrong. I can’t help but think that maybe all this is just another diversion to distract the Sikh masses from everything that’s going on in Punjab.
I just want to appeal to the film makers to not to use such cheap tactics for promotion and if you want to use Sikhs as inspiration in any of your projects please do so with respect. We Sikhs would appreciate if Mr. Remo can get this Superhero Costume modified and refrain from using such tactics for promotion in future. As it is Sikhs are going through a lot in this country, so please don’t add to their misery. I am not the only Sikh who shares this opinion but a majority of us are extremely upset with this costume.
Sahej Preet Singh