Breaking the silence on the Nanak Shah Fakir film controversy
A first-of-its-kind film in about 600 years of Sikh history that is based on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak titled Nanak Shah Fakir is set to release on April17.
This statement given by the films representatives, is aimed to put rest to concerns that have been misinterpreted by various organizations in an attempt to misinform audiences about the film.
GURU NANAK JI IS NOT PLAYED BY A HUMAN ACTOR
Guru Nanak has been depicted through high-end computer graphics at a VFX studio. Keeping with Sikh tradition, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has been portrayed from the back, amidst a ray of light.
It is pertinent to mention that there is no order from any of the gurus within the Guru Grant Sahib Ji that bans the use of imagery for the purposes of promoting Ek Onkar. There is only a ban on use of imagery for worshipping i.e., a ban on idolatry.
THE WET GLOWING MAN POTRAYED AT THE START OF THE FILM IS A HOLY SAINT
The wet glowing man is a saint witnessed by character Rai Bhullar on the night of Guru Ji’s birth who indicates that the divine soul was about to come into the world.
GURU NANAK DEV JI’s VOICE HAS BEEN COMPUTERISED IN THE FILM
The sole purpose of this film is to promote Guru Sahib’s Bani and teachings through the eyes of Bhai Mardana. I think it’s fair to point that anyone who objects to the portrayal of Guru Ji’s voice should also object to Gurbani being read in a Gurudwara.
THE DECISION TO PRODUCE THE FILM IN HINDI
Guru Nanak was born to a Hindu family, his message of Ik Onkar (there’s but One God) and his teachings are universal. He is followed by Sindhis, Multanis, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.
To reach out to as many of His followers, the film has been made in Hindi. Also it is important to mention that the foundation stone of Sri Harmandar Sahib was laid by Mian Mir, a Muslim Peer as also the fact that the Sri Guru Grant Sahib Ji contains several different languages within it.
MY TAKE ON SIKH ORGANISATIONS WHO ARE OPPOSING THE FILM
I would like to say that the film was shown to all members of Darbar Sahib and received support from them before bringing it to public domain. This film is about spirituality and His message.
Teachings of Guru Sahib are enormous and need to be spread in sync with new mediums such as digital media that includes the younger generation.
I would like to humbly request everybody to go watch the film with your families especially the younger generation and judge for yourselves. Guru Ji made us Sikh and taught the sparrow to fight the Hawk therefore we shouldn’t be misinformed without judging for ourselves.
A sincere attempt has been made and that too at an international level with the sole purpose of spreading Guru Ji’s message. It’s sad some sects of people are lobbying without even watching the film ironically using the same digital media to spread falsehoods.
THE PROCEEDS EARNED FROM THE FILM
Nanak Shah Fakir makes an endeavor to spread Guru Nanak’s teachings with a selfless motive; we pledge all earnings from the film to go towards good causes only. No income from this project shall come to the producers’ home.
GURU JI’S BAN ON IDOLATRY SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS A BAN ON PROMOTING SIKHISM
Guru Ji and his family are all portrayed in the film in a loving and respectful way. Even the excesses of his father were toned down in the movie. Sikh organizations who are protesting are misinterpreting the hukam against idolatry, as also not appreciating the fact that in the past, Punjab Govt. has portrayed the family members of Guru Sahib in 1970s and 80s.
Our Gurus banned their images to be used for worshipping. They didn’t ban anybody from re-enacting their character in a theatrical performance which respectfully promotes Sikhism.
Whilst we respect Bebe Nanki and the rest of his family, as well as Bhai Mardana we shouldn’t forget that they were humans like the rest of us and it would be against Guru Ji’s hukam against idolatry to treat them in anyway other than human beings.
The actors portrayal for Guru Ji’s family members has been done with so with much love and respect in this movie.
Finally, I would like to say we would’ve loved to have put in further aspects of Guru Ji’s life, and travel and teachings, but we were constrained by time limitations in the length of the film. In order to provide full details of Guru Ji’s life, more films should be encouraged including possibly a trilogy.