Amid global controversy over depictions of Sikh Guru Sahibs in movies, an upcoming biopic of Guru Nanak Dev ji’s life is causing further controversy in the Sikh world.
Nanak Shah Fakir, is an upcoming Punjabi movie depicting the life of Guru Nanak Sahib where though Guru Nanak Dev ji has been shown with use of graphics, Roles of Bebe Nanaki and Mata Sulakhni ji has been enacted by human characters.
Sikhism rejects any form of idol worship including worship of pictures of the Gurus. but this is so strange that despite this we hang pictures of Sikh Gurus itself in our homes and Gurdwaras on the name of education, Sikhi and inspiration.
Depicting the Sikh Gurus in pictures and movies is definitely problematic. It’s a double edged sword because pictures and movies illustrating Sikh history and Saakhis can excite and rouse the spirit of Sikhi within those people who perhaps otherwise would never pick up a book on the Sikh faith.
Contrary to the Guru’s teachings, It would be Manmat to portray Guru in such movies. This is a big threat to the rich Sikh history will give rise to been-lines of movies on depiction of Guru Sahibs and their family members.
Even when Sobha Singh painted that picture, he did mention that this is not Guru Nanak Dev ji’s picture but instead picture of his dreams. Sadly this is also the general direction many people have taken with Sobha Singh’s work because he focused almost exclusively on the faces of the Gurus.
If one reads the book ‘Bandginama‘ written by Bhai Raghbir Singh ji Bir, in which he shared his own personal story, when he started practicing Naam Simran by putting photographs of Guru Sahibaan in front of him but then later he found that when this state develops further, it becomes hard to contemplate God in His real transcendence. In fact the realization of His transcendence and our union with Him are the crown and climax, the apex and zenith of spiritual growth.
Waheguru is the connection of Shabad, ‘Surat’ and ‘Dhun’ only.
Talking about upcoming movies where Sikh Gurus are depicted either with picture or animated characters, it looks we are opening the door to people to draw our Guru in different forms that could affect His status in the hearts of his people. Guru Nanak Dev sahib has been shown on screen ‘LIVE’ – walking and talking. There are dialogues by Guru Nanak character, which have been delivered by actor who played Shivji role in Hindi serial on Life OK channel ‘Devo ke Dev Mahadev’. According to DailySikhUpdates, an insider has revealed that the role of Guru Nanak has actually been played by a real human and then some effects were added to give it an animation look.
Talking about the character of Bebe Nanaki, sister of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji and first Sikh woman who adopted the path of Akal Purakh has been portrayed in the movie by Puneet Sikka.
The character of Bhai Mardana ji, who was a life-long companion of Guru Nanak Dev ji and a great Gursikh, has been played by Bollywood actor Arif Zakaria.