Over the last few decades there have been many animations produced worldwide but just a handful of these are based on the Sikh faith. Recently the re-release of Vismaad’s ‘Bhai Taru Singh’ in 3D has evoked much positive acclaim as such gems are a rare yet precious gift from the film industry. Bhai Taru Singh (IMDB) depicts the true story of an honourable saint who lived a pious and virtuous life.
As a mother of two young daughters (four and six year old); I do not have the words to express my gratitude to those who work tirelessly to produce such animations. Many a times, the creators, directors and visionaries for such films often make many personal sacrifices along the way in order to ensure that such animations are able to reach global audiences. Sukhwinder Singh the director of ‘Bhai Taru Singh’ is such an example.
We, the parents, who live in a western society are constantly trying to play catch up and balance busy lives with work, raising families and running households. There have been times when preoccupied with other tasks I have allowed my children to watch everyday cartoons on television only then to be dismayed by the content and behaviour portrayed by some of the animated characters. Quite simply my daughters would imitate the poor behaviour which they had observed through these cartoons. Actions such as stomping of feet if they were unable to get their own way or even saying ‘no’ when asked to do a simple task. I found it extremely worrying at how quickly and easily such bad habits and behaviours were being picked up after such little exposure – so much so that many cartoons are now permanently banned in our household.
I passionately believe that when more positive and inspiring role models are depicted in animated format; such as Bhai Taru Singh, then I am often left wondering at the endless possibilities for our children when they have such beautiful Gursikhs to aspire to. Virtues such as kindness, faith compassion, forgiveness and tolerance can be learnt and ultimately practised through such observations. Now that Sikhi based animations are more widely available as cinema and DVD experiences then family movie times could become a norm in every Sikh household where all generations can watch, learn and appreciate such animations and their greatness together.
“My six year old was able to see how powerful sweet speech, sewa and sacrifice is…”
We should wholeheartedly support this film and make a conscious effort to go to our local cinemas and watch the film with our families. As Sikh mothers and fathers we wish for our children to engage, understand and appreciate the beauty of their kes and our beautiful, rich history. Over the weekend we as a family went to our local cinema to watch ‘Bhai Taru Singh’ and I can honestly say that my daughters learnt more from this 90 minute animation than they would have ever been able to ac
cess through any other means such as storybooks, katha or presentations. My four and a half year old daughter was able to take away the powerful message and conclude that ‘Sikhs never cut their kes and keeping kes makes Vaheguroo happy.’ Similarly, my six year old was able to see how powerful sweet speech, sewa and sacrifice is and I can only hope that such messages become permanently embedded within the bodies, hearts, minds and souls of all those who watch and support such projects.
As Mata Sahib Kaur Educational Trust Sewadars (MSKET) who are supporting the release of Motherhood: which is currently under production by ‘Nihal Nihal Nihal Productions’ we recognise the need for such animations in order to unite and inspire the youth. Motherhood is a 3D animation based on the life and immense contributions of Dhan Mata Sahib Kaur Ji and shows how Mata Ji is the epitome of love, grace and courage. The film is written and directed by Dr Karandeep Singh Ji and is set to be released worldwide in 2019.
Both ‘Vismaad Productions’ and ‘Nihal Nihal Nihal Productions’ have identified and acknowledged the need to communicate with the youth of the future using advanced technology such as 3D animations as regular means of parchar doesn’t always cater and meet the needs of the younger generation. Animation is such a crucial tool which captures the minds, hearts and imaginations of all generations; but more so the youth. This unique way of engaging the younger, future generation is paramount for modern society and we hope and pray to see many more upcoming 3D animations from both ‘Vismaad Productions’ and ‘Nihal Nihal Nihal Productions’ in the very near future.
– Amandeep Kaur