I found nothing controversial

Asia Samachar columnist Dr Balwant Singh Bains shares his thoughts after watching the jus released Nanak Shah Fakir


By Balwant Singh Bains | OPINION

Amidst enormous controversy of the release of Nanak Shah Fakir, I decided to watch this Movie myself yesterday (13 April 2018) at the TGV KLCC in Kuala Lumpur.

Honestly, I found nothing controversial or anything against the message of Guru Nanak. Every efforts has been taken in ensuring that the scene, the character, the era portrayed and setting were from what we all the Sikhs would commonly imagine it would be as we read the history of Guru Nanak. It’s obvious that there was no Sikhism when Guru Nanak was born and he was addressed as anyone would address a fellow mate in Talwandi even by Mardana as Nanak! Nothing wrong with that.

Mehta Kalu was a clean shaven man, as we would imagine, and working at the Lodi khana. What A scene? I was taken back to the pages of our history.

The frustration portrayed of a father to worry if Nanak would become worthy in future as he would not follow proper school’s curriculum. The scene that he slapped Nanak while protected by Bibi Nanaki is so real as it is in our story books.

The character of charismatic Nanaki and Sulakhani was very apt. If Guru Nanak can be drawn in a picture form in story books, then what’s wrong if he is portrayed in a form of light. There was no actor portraying Guru Nanak. I don’t know what is the hoo haa all about? Today it’s the electronic era. The producers have put up a great effort which cannot be simply thrown out of the window.

Sikhism started only after Guru Ji left and slowly became more and more established as it progresses from one Guru to the other. I personally don’t find any part of the movie against any religious norms and I would encourage every Sikh today to watch this marvel produced and acted.

The problem with us the onlookers is, that, we accept the Panj Pyare portrayed by human; Guru Gobind Singh Ji portrayed in a cartoon character but when no human body has acted Guru Nanak’s role, why condemn the movie?

I feel, due respect should be given to the team that has put a great show and taken every careful step in making this movie. I personally enjoyed the movie thoroughly.

However, I only have one comment, more a suggestion.


Why from the scene of an era 550 years ago there was suddenly Sanatam Kaur shown singing distorted westernized Punjabi in today’s times? She seems to singly portray the Sikhs of today. It would have been appropriate to show thousands of Guru Nanak’s followers in huge number.

At the I conclusion, there was  kirtan sung, I suppose, to portray the followers of Guru Nanak’s Divine wisdom. The entire film took us 550 years back. Suddenly the scene breaks into a white Guru Nanak follower with totally westernized pronunciation. It was a sudden contrast. If the idea was to portray today’s followers, the director should have portrayed thousands of people of the Sikh faith. That would have had more impact. In short, the conclusion was not impactful.

Dr Balwant Singh Bains runs Malaysia’s largest standalone physiotherapist centre and a physiotherapy college. He is a kirtan and Gurbani discourse enthusiast via Satsangi Malaysia. 

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.


[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com] 18749


Nanak Shah Fakir starts screening in Malaysia, next stop Singapore (Asia Samachar, 13 April 2018)

Akal Takht excommunicates Nanak Shah Fakir movie maker (Asia Samachar, 12 April 2018)

Why the film Nanak Shah Fakir would be a disaster for Sikhs (Asia Samachar, 12 April 2018)

Nanak Shah Faqir: An Epic of Sorts  – PART ONE (Asia Samachar, 4 June 2015)


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  1. This movie is an attack by anti-sikh agents, a simplified & tinted narrative. Reality is complex. Wake up, Sikhs! Define or be defined by others!

  2. Recommended for everyone, non sikhs included, to watch d movie. Nanaks msg of humanity is convey lucidly.

  3. I am in total agreement with comments of Dr Balwant Singh Bains Ji. Photos of the ten Guru Jis are painted and published in print/cyber media and also are used for commercial purposes on calenders-diaries-public transport vehicles-posters-paintings-boards-banners-etc and many of them are discarded and dumped with other runbish. Each picture is based on the ability of the painter. There are even copper toolings. Many reproductions are also displayed in houses-restaurants-commercial-public buildings more like decorations with some having garlands and some prayed.
    So the opposition to the movie is not understood and justfied especially by those who may not even have seen the movie or may have narrow mondsets.
    I have seen some religous Sikh Babas tefusing to take langgar on tables while sitting on benches with justification that all sat on the floor diring to the times of the Guru Jis but same persons have no objection when travelling by planes and a-c cars and completely ignore that Guru Nanak Ji walked while some used horses.
    Mind of some sppear to be stuck to selective aspects.
    Gur Fateh