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Recently becoming the highest grossing Indian animation films of all time (with out inflation adjustments), as well as the First 3D Sikh Movie, Chaar Sahibzaade has pretty much become a cultural phenomenon and a new Sikh Multimedia staple. The movie has been praised for its emotional and unbiased portrayal of one of the most important chapters of Sikh history. The movie has topped the business chart in other countries as well such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The movie has collected £81,348 (Rs 79.45 lakhs) from 16 screens in the UK, A$141,387 (Rs 75.31 lakhs) from 22 screens in Australia and NZ$33,832 (Rs 16.20 lakhs) from 7 screens in New Zealand in the first weekend. It has, in fact, pushed Shahrukh Khan’s Happy New Year down to second place in all these countries. The Punjabi version of the movie alone is on its way to become the highest grossing Indian animation film ever which at the moment is Hanuman released in 2005 after grossing around Rs 5.25 crore in net collections. The movie has received a rather high rating of 9.9 on IMDB. The State Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab and Uttarakhand have also declared the movie tax free. These are certainly some encouraging numbers for the Indian animation industry. I myself has personally watched the movie on big screen and yes it’s a great Movie. But Does the popularity earned by this Movie does seem to be over-hyped? Well I hate to not give you a straight forward answer, but it’s both a Yes and a No. Now why ‘yes’? Well it’s obvious, isn’t it? This is the first 3-D Animated Movie in Sikh History. This is the first time that a movie based on Sikh history has been released in so many languages and on such an expounding level. This is the first time a movie on Sikh History has been released on a world-wide level in prominent Cinemas. This is the first movie that even Singh Sahibaans from Sri Hazur Sahib have watched in the Cinema Halls. There’s certainly more I’m not covering, but yes this movie tied in new technology with breath taking Animated characters and art, and it came out as close to perfect as one could hope. Well, maybe not completely perfect… See now’s the part where you’re probably going to send me an emotional email. The part where we talk about why this movie might not be deserving that big hype First off, I’m talking about through it’s content, the Community hard-earned money, the sudden fan army and the measurable outputs. Does Chaar Sahibzaade Movie deserve it all? Frankly there are some strong points against it. Let us first look into the word ‘Hype’ itself. I have noticed from some facebook walls that some people did watch the “Chaar Sahibzaade” movie upto five times in a single month even. Really?? Why??? Was it the 3-D effects, or the beauty of technology embedded in the animated characters, the music or the story itself, that touched one’s heart to such an extent. I can understand kids watching the same movie repeatedly but why will you watch it more than once or say twice…Isn’t five times too much and that too in a single month? Shouldn’t the same time be better spent on the teachings learnt from the movie itself rather than addicting oneself to watch it again and again on the Big screen. There are organizations which are writing to Akal Takhat Sahib to categorise this movie as “Educational Movie”. Well sure, but then why not the other previously released animated movies like the ones released by Vismaad, CSJS Productions and many others. Is it because those movies were not released on a bigger scale or had such a popularity as gained by Chaar Sahibzaade movie… Scrolling through the content, there were many distorted facts in the Movie which I have already covered in my other article on review about this movie as well. Those were – Khanda Insignia on the Dastaars of Sahibzaades, which was not even invented at time of Gurus. Also Mata Gujri ji has been shown without dastaar while she was a dastar wearing Singhani and was never weak or emotional too as shown in the movie. The dialogues of Moti Mehra ji were also not correctly scripted. In saying that, I do not mean to wholly contradict the movie as it can happen with any other project or movie too. But when a movie is so much over-hyped and also watched by Prominent Sikh dignitaries, it becomes highly important to have correct sequence of facts shown on the big screen. Also I would not complain about the distorted facts to the Director or Story-writer as the movie is directed under guidance of SGPC and other well-learned Sikh Historians. No doubt that the Movie is portraying a very important chapter of Sikh History and it’s a great educational tool for our upcoming generations, but we need to understand if it is worth the Money that we have spent on the movie. The Directors might have spent nearly Rs 40 crores on the movie but the output we have given them is for Rs 300 Crores. Have we ever thought that this money has actually gone out of our community? Is this money well-spent or evidence of chronic waste? According to a study done by Australian Researchers, “The money spent is twice as efficient if it stays within the community” and it helps keeping the community alive and support better needed projects. Infact Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going. If too much money is spent outside the community even for the community projects, the money (blood) still flows out, but like a wound. Sikh community has recently evidenced many Film-directors and producers from within our community who have brought really good Sikh movies like “Proud to be Sikh”, “Sundri”, “Bhai Taru Singh ji”, Empty Inside, Rakhe Harmandir de, Ujjar thaon vaseo and many more…. But I think only 5% of the Chaar Sahibzaade Audience only might have watched or heard about the above movies as the producers of those movies had limited funds to release them on Big Screens. But just imagine the output and benefits if the same money flows via the Sikh Directors and producers who can provide a similar output. That way we will also create more jobs for our own people and promote Sikhi – “Naale Punn te Naale Faliyan”. Moving further, Some people claim that many people took amrit or promised not to cut their hair after watching the movie “Chaar Sahibzaade”. Well, our heartiest congrats to those, who were inspired and took a step further towards a Gursikhi Jeewan. Firstly let me tell you there were two main Fake pictures posted on Social Media – “One telling 34 Radha Soamis took Amrit after watching the movie” and other showing people sitting in Akal Takht Sahib awaiting to get Amrit di daat. Both the pictures had no source and were just hyped by FB Posters. People do get emotional after watching such movies and no doubt 1% of those might even make some big decisions about their life-style changes as well, but there is also proven evidence that behaviour might get altered but soon disappears too as soon as one walks outside the Cinema like a puff of bubble. Studies also show that movies can have a direct, but not sustained effect on behaviour. Let us now take a look at some of the low-budget Sikh Movies like Bhai Taru Singh ji by Vismaad Productions or Proud to be Sikh directed by Satdeep Singh. I myself have personally evidenced the people with tearful eyes and many promising the same as well that they won’t cut their hair in future or will prepare for Amrit. So my point is that if a low-budget movie can offer the same output, isn’t it better for us to save money and then spend that saved money in other much-needed projects in Sikhi. We need to measure the outputs – Is it just the 3-D effects, the fun, the tearful eyes for few minutes or are we measuring a bigger picture. No doubt, such movies are a great educational tool for our future generations but question is at what cost? Some people may argue on this that the money given back to producers like Harry Baweja will promote other Bollywood producers to bring more such movies on Sikh History in the Market. But my question is – Is that what we want? Do every time we want to return 10 times to the producers outside the community and especially to the ones for whom it is just a business. Have we done enough Needs-based assessment? Have we determined what output is it going to bring to Sikh Community. We don’t need to measure only short-term benefits but should look towards long-term goals as well. There is much more we can get into this, but I believe we need to first PAUSE here and think about above points first. So, I guess we’re back to where we started. Does one, Sikh movie deserve this constant overabundance of hype? No matter, how educational, emotional the movies may be, we need to think from all angles and we need to limit the money spent. People may argue that its better to spend money watching such movies rather than spending same money on another bollywood movie portraying Sikhs as jokers…but lets even look at a wider picture. Something IS NOT ALWAYS better than NOTHING. Pls think strategically considering Long term goals, think from Gursikhi point of view and then provide your feedback or comments. Originally posted at: http://singhstation.net/2014/11/movie-chaar-sahibzaade-really-deserve-overhype/
AMRITSAR SAHIB — On Sunday 30th November, led by Bhai Amritpal Singh, Bhai Bagicha Singh Waraich, Jujhar Singh (Son of Bhai Khalsa), Bhai Major Singh, Bhai Hakam Singh and other Gursikhs, a large number of Sikhs held an Accountability Procession from Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib, Ambala to Sri Akal Takht Sahib Sri Amritsar Sahib with the aim to make Giani Gurbachan Singh, appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, accountable on the promise of ensuring the permanent release of Sikh political prisoners made by him during the hunger strike by Bhai Gurbakhash Singh Khalsa. In the absence of the appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib himself, leaders of the procession submitted memorandum to his personal assistant Bhai Bhupinder Singh. The memorandum reminds him that “in November, 2013, the Sikh nation held a large scale agitation led by Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh Khalsa for the release of Sikh political prisoners who have completed their Jail terms. Jathedar had ended the protest by making the assurance that he would get the prisoners released permanently. Those Sikhs who were released on parole have returned to Jails and two Sikhs were not even given parole release. Now, the Khalsa Panth reminds you that you are accountable for the release of Sikh detainees.” Prior to this, the Sikhs also held a procession from Bhai Gurdas Hall, Amritsar to Sri Akal Takht Sahib raising slogans demanding the Jathedar to deliver on his promise made during last protest. The Sikh Sangat from Haryana were welcomed in Amritsar by International Sikh Organization State President Kanwarbir Singh, Gurmanjit Singh, Bikram Singh and others. Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/12/sikh-detainees-freedom-march-memorandum-submitted-akal-takht-sahib-jathedar/
Today is the Birth day of Baba Zorawar Singh Ji. Tributes go to the Great Souls who made the Supreme Sacrifice. Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru ke Pyaare. Here is a glimpse of Baba Zorawar Singh ji's life: Date of Birth : 28 November 1696 Birthplace : Anandpur Sahib, India FAther’s Name : Guru Gobind Singh Ji Mother’s Name : Mata Jito Ji (also known as Mata Sundari Ji) Brother/Sisters : Baba Ajit Singh Ji Baba Jujhar Singh Ji Baba Fateh Singh Ji Joti Jot : 26 December 1705 Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, the third son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and was barely nine years old at the time of the evacuation of Anandpur on the night of 21-22 December 1705. Since the death, on 5 December 1700 of Mata Jito ji, Mata Gujari, his grandmother had been especially attached to young Zorawar Singh and his infant brother, Fateh Singh. She took charge of both as the column moved out of Anandpur. While crossing on horseback the rivulet Sirsa, then in spate, the three were separated from Guru Gobind Singh. Their cook, Gangu, who had also succeeded in crossing the stream, escorted them to his own house in the village of Kheri, now known as Saheri, near Morinda in presentday Ropar district. While unsaddling the horse he saw that there was some valuables in the saddlebag. This tempted him to treachery. He not only stole the saddlebag during the night, but also planned to betray the fugitives to the government in hope of a reward. On the morning of 21 December 1705, the day of the fateful battle of Chamkaur, Baba Zorawar Singh ji, along with Baba Fateh Singh ji and their grandmother, was taken into custody by Jani Khan and Mani Khan Ranghar, the officials at Morinda after their cover was blown by Gangu who reported them to the Mughal authorities. They were despatched on the following day to Sirhind where they were consigned to the Cold Tower (Thanda Burj) of the Fort. This spot is marked by the famous Gurdwara Fatehgarh sahib. On 23 December 1705, Baba Zorawar Singh ji and Baba Fateh Singh ji were produced before the faujdaar, Nawab Wazir Khan, who had just returned from Chamkaur with his feudal ally, Nawab Sher Muhammad Khan of Malerkotla. Wazir Khan tried to lure the Sahibzadas to embrace Islam with promises of riches and honours, but they spurned the suggestion. He then threatened them with death, but they remained undaunted. Death sentence was finally pronounced. Upon Sher Muhammad Khan’s intercession for the innocent children to be spared their lives, they were given some more time to ponder over the suggestion to convert. Sahibzada Zorawar Singh ji and his brother spent another two days of severe winter in their old grandmother’s lap in the Cold Tower. Still adamant, they were, on 25 December 1705, ordered to be sealed alive in a wall. According to tradition, as the masonry around their tender bodies reached chest high, it crumbled. The Sahibzadas were sent to the Cold Tower again for the night. The next day, 26 December 1705, the alternative of conversion being again turned down, Baba Zorawar Singh ji and Baba Fateh Singh ji were martyred by sealing alive in a wall. The aged Mata Gujari Kaur ji, who had all along been kept in the Cold Tower, only a little distance away, breathed her last as the news reached her ears. Mata Gujari Kaur ji through upbringing of her grandsons played such an important role in Sikhism that as Sikhs, we can owe our existence to her. It was due to her teachings that 6 year old and 9 year old did not bulge from their Dharma and attained martyrdom., thus continuing and emphasizing the institute of martyrdom in Sikhism. Seth Todar Mall, a wealthy merchant of Sirhind, performed the cremation of the three dead bodies the following day. The site of the fateful happenings, since christened Fatehgarh Sahib, close to the old town of Sirhind, is now marked by four Sikh shrines. A religious fair is held here from 25 to 28 December every year to honour the memory of the martyrs. Source: http://singhstation.net/2013/11/sahibzada-baba-zorawar-singh-ji/
The Punjab BJP & AAP has extended full support to the second hunger strike called by Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who has been fasting at Lakhnaur Sahib Gurdwara in Ambala for five days. Punjab BJP spokesperson RP Singh Maini, who met Bhai Gurbaksh Singh at Lakhnaur Sahib, said as the Akalis had distanced themselves from the issues raised by the Sikh activist, the BJP had come forward to support him in his struggle to get Sikh prisoners, who had completed their term, released. Maini said Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma had also spoken to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh over the phone, assuring him that the matter would be taken up with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. After the Punjab BJP, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also extended its support to the campaign of Bhai Gurbakhash Singh Khalsa. Punjab convener of AAP, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, on Saturday and expressed solidarity with the cause. The AAP leader asked Bhai Gurbaksh Singh about his health and expressed his support to the campaign in its every aspect. Chottepur later also posted about Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa on his Facebook account. Speaking to The Tribune, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh said in the last 10 months, he had met the Akal Takht jathedar eight times, seeking release of Sikh prisoners as was promised by him when he had ended his hunger strike at Mohali last year. But the jathedar had remained cynical to the demands, he said. He said now he had pinned hope on the BJP governments in Haryana and the Centre. He said a delegation of Sikhs from the state would meet the Ambala Deputy Commissioner tomorrow and submit a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee, highlighting the plight of Sikhs prisoners in jails. Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/11/bjp-aap-extends-support-bhai-gurbakhash-singh-khalsa/