Speaking about the new film ‘Sikhs@War’, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP said:
"The contribution of Sikh soldiers to the Indian army is a long saga of heroism and dedication to duty. We in the UK have reason to be entirely grateful for their service in Two World Wars. I am delighted that the appreciation of Sikh troops is now receiving the recognition it merits."
The film, the first to be hosted on www.sikhsatwar.info, follows teenager Jaspal Singh from Coventry who is bullied because of his Sikh identity but doesn’t cut his hair or give in to social pressure because of the heroics of his Great Grandfather, who fought in the first and second World Wars with his Sikh turban as his only form of protection. Jaspal goes on a journey to Flanders to discover the forgotten history of Sikhs like his forefather who fought on the Western Front.
Birmingham based filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal says the launch in Parliament is a momentous occassion for British Sikhs:
"This is such an important part of British Sikh history because it’s enabled succesive generations to build upon the respectable reputations these soldiers created as loyal hardworking honourable men, and it’s enabled our own community to become a key part of British life. Launching this film in Parliament – at the heart of our democracy, is a sign that these heroics and sacrifices are not forgotten by our government or by the British Sikh community."
The launch event will feature a keynote speech from the Attorney General followed by a screening of the 26 minute film and Q&A from audience members representing the Sikh faith, military community media, inter-faith and charity groups.
The website ‘www.sikhsatwar.info’ is set to expand with more films being released on the website as free educational resources for people worldwide to learn about the Sikh and Punjabi contribution during the World Wars. The films have been made by corporate sponsors and several are currently in planning and pre-production.