Thursday, April 12, 2018

'Nanak Shah Fakir' Movie Controversy...

Have you ever asked your mum, “How’s my dastaar?” And she says (without looking in your direction, let alone look at the dastaar), “yeah, its fine.” Then when you sit in the car ready to go where are you going, she says: “O dear! Didn’t you look in the mirror today when tying your dastaar? You should have re-tied it and made it look nicer.”

The above sums up the SGPC in the whole controversy over the controversial film ‘Nanak Shah Fakeer’. I can imagine the SGPC were busy tucking into Pakoray, Samosay and Jaleebis in their office when the film producer walked in and said “Hi guys, is this film that I have made okay with you all?” Response, “Yeah, yeah that's fine.... show it in all gurdwaras. No that's done, can you please pass the sauce and chutney whilst your standing.”

Two years later they actually bothered to look at the trailer of the movie and thought “O Lord! Who on earth allowed this film to be made. This needs banning.” 

The same SGPC and Giani Gurbachan Singh that is seeking to ban the movie, are the ones who had earlier given a clean chit to make the movie:


1) No individual can act or play the role of any of the Guru Sahibans or their family members in accordance to a ruling an earlier ruling from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and the SGPC.
In the movie, Harish Khanna plays the role of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, however the movie makers have used silhouette lighting to hide his identity. Bollywood actors play the role of Mata Tripta Ji, Pita Kalyan Das Ji, Bebe Nanaki, Bhai Jai Ram Ji, and Bhai Mardana Ji.

2. The movie suggests in one scene that all religions and philosophies come from Hinduism
Sikhi does not originate from Hinduism. Sikhi is a unique revealed religion. Our concept of God, Saviour, holy scriptures, birth rites, initiation rites, marriage rites, death rites, uniform, articles of faith, religious places of worship, religious authority and daily prayers are all different from Hinduism.

3. The "Aum" sign of Hindus is shown in the sky in one scene.
What has this got to do with a film claiming to be preaching Sikhi?

4. The actor playing Bebe Nanaki Ji in the film is wearing a black thread in the movie.
Sikhi is against superstitious rituals. The movie is discreetly promoting them. How is this promoting Sikhi?

6. The film promotes "Deh" (body) "Pooja" (worship). Our Guru is Jyot and Shabd. We are supposed to follow Guru Ji's message and immerse in Gurbani, not get physically attached any body.
A Sikh's life changes by listening, accepting and loving the Word of the Guru. The body of the Guru for us is the Khalsa, represented in the Panj Pyaare. Any other attempts to depict the Guru's physically whether with paintings, models, idols or actors are contrary to Gurmat.

7. The movie-maker Harinder Sikka in a Zee news documentary is seen promoting Hindu mythology and on the fore-front of a project trying to revive a site that claims Sita was held captive by the Raavan in the story of Ramayan.
This makes Sikhs suspicious of his claims that he had a dream of Guru Nanak Dev Ji who told him to make this movie, and what his real motives are.


I was listening to a Parchaarik talk about the controversial film ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ that Sikhs wish to see banned. Below I have paraphased what was said in the Katha:

“The controversy began when Sikhs began to put up depicted images of the Guru in their homes. First of all they made us accept that we accept the image as Guru. Talk of who played Bebe Nanaki Ji, Bhai Mardana Ji, and how Guru Nanak Dev Ji was depicted in the movie came after. Gurbani says:
ਬੁਤ ਪੂਜਿ ਪੂਜਿ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੂਏ ਤੁਰਕ ਮੂਏ ਸਿਰੁ ਨਾਈ ॥ 
“Worshipping their idols, the Hindus (spiritually) die; the Muslims die bowing their heads (towards Mecca thinking God lives there).” 
(Sorath Kabeer Ji, 654)
Gurbani says that the Hindus became spiritually dead by worshipping idols. Today idols have been made of the Guru that brought us this Bani. Images made with the imagination of the mind have come into our homes. Some Deras claim that their Baba revealed the picture of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and invited an artist to make a painting. Things should have been stopped then. The Guru’s Word is the Guru, the Guru’s message is the Guru. Japji Sahib is our Guru for us. During the time of the Guru, were there no artists? Why didn’t the Gurus get artists to paint them? When the Guru is the Word, then why have images. The movie Nanak Shah Fakir has violated all principles of Gurmat… 

The SGPC gave permission for this movie but when they realised it has sparked controversy they took back their permission and sought a ban. This is not an issue of banning a movie. Can Sikhi Parchaar only be done via movies? I remember when Chaar Sahibzaade animation movie came on in the cinema, some families came out crying. They said, “We are 40 years old, we are 50 years old, and only today we found out the sacrifices of the Chaar Sahibzaade.” This is a question mark for our community. If took this movie, after such a long time, to just get that message across, then what have the 4 or 5 Gurdwaras built in the village done all this time? This is a big question… What are these Gurdwaras made for? 

Until we do not study ourselves, we will continue to have these controversies. During Gurpurbs like Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Prakaash Divas, people send messages to one another on WhatsApp with these pictures depicting the Guru. These are then forwarded on. Things should have stopped there, but it didn’t..."

Monday, April 09, 2018

Short write-up on Vaisakhi to share with non-Sikhs...

Sangat Ji, I have written a short article for the local newspaper and to share with work. Please feel free to use and adapt the below article as an opportunity to share the message of Sikhi during Vaisakhi.

Spring is an important time of the year for the Sikh community. Just as spring marks new beginnings and new life, the Sikh spring festival of Vaisakhi (pronounced ‘vai-saa-khee’), which falls this year on 14th April, marks the beginning of Sikhs being formalised into a community of the faithful, known as the ‘Khalsa’, dedicated to thoughtful activism. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru and founder of the Sikh faith, came on this earth in 1469. Through nine other succeeding gurus the Sikh faith was revealed, and the final picture of the ideal Sikh and the ideal divine-conscience community was completed with the inauguration of the ‘Khalsa’ on the spring festival of Vaisakhi in 1699.

Just as the trees embrace change and blossom with a new identity in spring, the Sikh community was given a fresh lease of life and its distinctive identity (the ‘Panj Kakkaar’ known as the ‘5 Ks’) was consolidated. In 1699, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs, in a unique initiation ceremony, initiated five daring and faithful Sikhs who had stepped forward and passed a test of faith. This new form of the Sikh community, known as Khalsa (the sovereign ones) was to be loyal to the one God, to serve and protect others, and become beacons of holiness and spirituality for the world.

The Tenth Guru gave all Sikh men the suffix name of ‘Singh’ (meaning ‘lion’), which was a royal name in India at the time. It was to remind Sikhs to be brave and courageous. All Sikh women were given the suffix name of ‘Kaur’ (meaning ‘crown prince). At a time when women had to change their names for their husband, have no inheritance rights and suffer from inequality, the Guru uplifted the status of women with the name ‘Kaur’ representing equality as the crown prince is entitled to the inheritance.

This time of year reminds Sikhs of their commitments to their faith and their responsibilities towards serving humanity and fighting against social injustice for all.

  Wishing you all a happy Vaisakhi and good wishes.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Respect of parents...

ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਸਣੈ ਵੇਦ ਭੇਦ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਕਥਾ ਕਹਾਣੀ
maan piu parahari sunai vaydu bhaydu n jaanai kadaa kahaanee
Renouncing the parents, the listener of Vedas cannot understand their mystery.

ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਕਰੈ ਤਪ ਵਣਖੰਡਿ ਭਲਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਬਿਬਾਣੀ
maan piu parahari karai tapu vanakhandi bhulaa dhirai bibaanee
Repudiating the parents, meditation in the forest is similar to the wanderings at deserted places.

ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਕਰੈ ਪੂਜ ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵ ਨ ਸੇਵ ਕਮਾਣੀ
maan piu parahari karai pooju dayvee dayv n sayv kamaanee
The service and worship to the gods and goddesses are useless if one has renounced his parents.

ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਨ ਹਾਵਣਾ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਘੰਮਣ ਵਾਣੀ ॥
maan piu parahari nhaavanaa atdasatdi teerad ghunman vaanee
Without service to the parents, bath at the sixty-eight pilgrimage centres is nothing but gyrating in a whirlpool.

ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਕਰੈ ਦਾਨ ਬੇਈਮਾਨ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪਰਾਣੀ ।
maan piu parahari karai daan bayeemaan agiaan paraanee
The person who having deserted his parents performs charities, is corrupt and ignorant.

ਮਾਂ ਪਿਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਵਰਤ ਕਰਿ ਮਰਿ ਮਰਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਭਰਮਿ ਭਲਾਣੀ ।
maan piu parahari varat kari mari mari janmai bharami bhulaanee
He who repudiating the parents undertakes fasts, goes on to wander in the cycle of births and deaths.

ਗੁਰ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੀ ॥੧੩॥
guru paramaysaru saaru n jaanee ॥13॥
That man (in fact) has not understood the essence of Guru and God.

(Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaar 37: Pauri 13)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Movie: Sacho Sach

I recently watched this movie in Sikhi class. Everyone really appreciated the message of the movie. The movie is about the true rule of the Gurdwara and about corrupt managements who are far from following the Guru's teachings themselves, let alone propagate the Guru's teachings to the Sangat.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sarbloh and Sikhi...

Sarbloh (All-Iron) is an amazing gift given to Sikhs. Through Sarbloh Sikhi starts. When we take Amrit it is made and served in Sarbloh. When we were given the gifts of the Panj Kakkaar, two are made of Sarbloh (Karha and Kirpaan). Sarbloh is so special, that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji describes Vahiguru Ji as Sarbloh and that Sarbloh is our Protector in the Bani of Akaal Ustat.
ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੀ ਰਛਾ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਕੀ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ 
ਸਰਬ ਕਾਲ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ ਸਰਬ ਲੋਹ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਸਦਾ ਰਛਿਆ ਹਮਨੈ ॥ 
akaal purakh kee rashhaa hamnai. sarab loh kee rashhiaa hamnai.
sarab kaal jee dee rashhiaa hamnai. sarab loh jee dee sadaa rashhiaa hamnai. 
“The Timeless Lord is my Protector. The All-Iron Lord is my Protector. The All-Destroying Lord is my Protector. The All-Iron Lord is ever my Protector.” 
(Akaal Ustat)

Keeping the above in mind, there is no doubt that Sarbloh with conjunction with vibrations of Gurbani, Naam and Pyaar is an aid on the Path to Vahiguru Ji. 

Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj’s happiness lies in Rehat (code of discipline):
ਰਹਿਤ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਮੁਝ ਕਉ, ਸਿਖ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਨਾਹਿ
rehat pyaaree mujh ko, sikh pyaara naahi. 
"I love the Rehat (code of discipline) of a Sikh, not the (mere label of being a) Sikh."

Langar being served in Sarbloh Baatte in the first part of the 20th century before steel plates were introduced for eating Langar

Monday, January 22, 2018

Banbury Gurmat Class - January 2018...

Banbury Gurmat Class group photo (some children and parents missing due to flu going around). So much Kirpa (blessings). Last Monday the children were restless during Rehraas Sahib and Ardaas. We started a competition of whoever could sit the longest without fidgeting will get points and eventually lead to a prize. Then we are running a Japji Sahib competition. Learning half Japji Sahib is £10, and on completion of memorising full Japji Sahib they get £20 (so £30 in total). 

Today one the students, Jyot Kaur Ji, (pictured in next photo), memorised 20 Paurian of Japji Sahib. She learnt 20 Paurian in 3 weeks. When she first recited Paath in class she know the 1st Pauri. She was inspired to see other children knowing more Paath than her. Whilst I was America over Christmas holidays there were no classes. The child’s mum said over 2 weeks she kept listening to Japji Sahib on YouTube (Bhai Gurpreet Singh Shimla recital) and learnt 20 Paurian. Her mum makes her sit with her everyday and learn a Pauri a day. Today she came wearing a Dastaar. At the age of 9, she said she wants to start wearing a Dastaar to school. When I got out £10 to give her for learning half of Japji Sahib, she said “Bhaji I dont want money. Can you please get me Sahibzaade movie instead.” Her mum said she wants to memorise all the scenes and information. Vahiguru. Maharaj’s blessings on on such a small town and credit to parents for making the effort with their children. If you have already not learnt Japji Sahib, please do! Forgot to mention she is also learning the meanings of each Pauri she memorises

Jyot Kaur Ji's inspiration to start wearing the Dastaar comes from the Just Sikhi team from Wolverhampton who came to Banbury Gurdwara to do Parchaar two months earlier. Bhenji tied a dastaar on her head and all the Sangat gave her so much encouragement and love. Amazing how Sangat can inspire someone.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Congratulations to Veer Uttam Singh Ji and Bhenji Kuljit Kaur Ji...

Congratulations to Veer Uttam Singh Ji and Bhenji Kuljit Kaur Ji on their Anand Karaj today. The vibrations in the Darbar Sahib were amazing. So much Kirpa during the Kirtan and Lava(n). May they stay blessed