Singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh has said that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots should be called a ‘genocide’. Diljit will feature in the upcoming film Jogi, which is set during the time. He was born in January the same year and said that he has been hearing about the tragedy since he was born. He also added that ‘we are still living with it’.
Violence erupted in Delhi and other parts of the country after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. Many Sikhs were killed across India. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Jogi explores the agony of the Sikh community in the national capital following Indira’s assassination.
Speaking with news agency PTI, Diljit said, “We should not call it riots, the right word is genocide. When there is a two-sided fight between people, then it is a riot. According to me, it should be called a genocide. It is not that it happened to one or a few people. I know it happened collectively, with all of us. If I talk about some incidents, it will be personal. We are talking about it collectively in the film. I have been hearing about it since I was born and we are still living with it. We all have heard a lot of stories and we couldn’t believe something like this can happen in life. But, anything can happen.”
“This is not a new story. This film is also talking about the same things that we have grown up listening to. Whatever has happened is there for everyone to see. We have always given a message of positivity. Like in gurudwara, when you seek blessings and then when you are part of a ‘langar’, where everyone sits together to eat food, this is a message of positivity. We all should know about history. Cinema is a medium where we make light-hearted and fun-loving movies. But we should also do films on such subjects from history too,” he also added.
Diljit plays the titular role in the movie which will be available on Netflix from Friday. It is billed as a thrilling and emotional journey of the fighting spirit of three friends, played by Diljit, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub and Hiten Tejwani. Kumud Mishra and Amyra Dastur also play pivotal roles in Jogi which is produced by Ali Abbas along with Himanshu Kishan Mehra.