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The Widow Colony Premiers in UK

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Admin Singh, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    The Widow Colony – India’s Unsettled Settlement, takes an in-depth look into the lives of the widows of the Sikh men who were killed in the anti-Sikh massacre of November, 1984.

    [Screenings Time Schedule at the End of This message]

    Director Harpreet Kaur, explores the suffering of these women, their battle for justice and their struggle for survival in India. The widows express serious doubt in India’s judicial system based on the fact that over 4,000 Sikhs were killed in the capital city alone and 25 years and 11 investigations later, the Government has still not been able to deliver justice.

    View attachment 743

    The award-winning documentary "The Widow Colony" focuses on the incalculable loss of human life in the span of just three days. A conservative estimate puts the total number of Sikh men dead around 4,000, leaving behind over 1,300 widows and thousands of children fatherless. Despite all the evidence and eye witness testimonies justice has been denied to these victims for over two decades. Described by critics as the "most affecting" documentary to come out of India since Born into Brothels.

    "The Widow Colony — India's Unsettled Settlement", borrows its name from the settlement in Tilak Vihar, on the west-side of New Delhi, which is locally called the Widow Colony or Vidhva Colony. The film takes the viewer to the streets of Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri, Himatpuri, Sultanpuri and Mongolpuri, the same localities that suffered the major brunt of the Sikh killings in November of 1984.

    Director Harpreet Kaur, uses the testimonies of the widows and subject experts, along with images of the killings and destruction that followed after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to convey the trauma of the widows, their battle for justice and their struggle for survival in India.

    View attachment 744 View attachment 746

    Harpreet Kaur's documentary won the award for Best Documentary at the prestigious Female Eye Film Festival, held in Toronto. Upon receiving the award Kaur said, "This award proves that the interest for this documentary is not only in South Asian audiences and human rights organizations but it appeals to audiences all over the world.

    "Kaur's film takes the viewers onto a journey into the living conditions of the surviving Sikh widows and children in New Delhi who have been struggling to sustain their families while maintaining their struggle for justice, 22 years after the murders of their men."


    <table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2">Screenings

    </td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top">October 10, 2009
    Show 1- 1:00 - 3:00 PM
    Show 2- 3:30 - 5:30 PM
    Show 3- 6:00 - 8:00 PM
    Show 4- 8:30 - 10:30 PM
    </td> <td valign="top"> Hayes, UK
    Location: The Beck Theatre
    Grange Road, Hayes
    Middlesex UB3 2UE
    More information & to Buy Tickets Click here
    </td></tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">

    </td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top">October 11, 2009
    Show 1- 1:00 - 3:00 PM
    Show 2- 3:30 - 5:30 PM
    Show 3- 6:00 - 8:00 PM
    Show 4- 8:30 - 10:30 PM
    </td> <td valign="top"> Southhall, UK
    Location: The Himalaya Palace
    14 South Road
    Southall UB1 3RT
    More information Click here
    </td></tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">

    </td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> Fri. - Sun. 3 days
    Oct 16, 2009 - Oct 18, 2009
    Show 1- 1:00 - 3:00 PM
    Show 2- 3:30 - 5:30 PM
    Show 3- 6:00 - 8:00 PM
    Show 4- 8:30 - 10:30 PM
    </td> <td valign="top"> Birmingham, UK
    Location: The DRUM
    144 Potters Lane
    Birmingham, B6 4UU
    More information & to Buy Tickets Click here
    </td></tr></tbody></table>
     
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  3. harbansj24

    harbansj24
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    Re: The Widow Colony Premiers in UK on Oct 10, 2009

    Immediately after the riots, Indian Express called for donations to help the riot affected people. George Varghese was the Editor. He set up a committee of prominent citizens which included Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh (Retd), Gen JS Arora (Retd), Retired Cabinet Secretary Mukherjee, TV News Reader Tejeshwar Singh, President and General Secretaries of Delhi University Teacher's Association etc to see how the funds collected could be best used to help the victims. He also invited interested citizens to particpate. An activist colleague requested me and another colleague to come for the meeting. The 3 of us being Engineers offered to use the funds to repair the damaged houses. This was one of the proposals which was immediately accepted by the committee.
    We set out surveying 3 colonies that of Kalyanpuri, sultanpuri and Raj Nagar. In these colonies the residents were still around so the possibility of doing work existed. Trilokpuri, specially street 32 (If I remember right) where the most brutal action occured was completely deserted. We visited the refugee camps to which they had fled to pursuade them to return as their houses would be repaired. But they were so terrorised that they flatly refused. These are the people who went to Tilak Vihar. So no work was taken up in Trilokpuri.

    The houses in these colonies (Except Raj Nagar)were built on 25 sq yds plots. These were resettlement colonies. The women gave very graphic accounts of their menfork being butchered in very matter of fact way with their eyes completely dry. They talked without any rancour and some even smiled! One women showed us the spot where her husband was burned alive. The ground had a greasy look. When asked about the patch, she just said "Oh, that was the fat in him burning!" An aged man took out 2 photographs from his pocket and poigently told us that they were his sons who were butchered in his presence.

    Coming to our task, it was early Novemberand the cold winter winds would soon start to blow. So the work had to start immediately if the relief was to be effective. The doors being of wood were esaily damaged or burned down. So that along with some broken walls and in afew cases broken roofs were earmarked as main areas of repair. For walls and roofs, we identified masons and labour from within the affected people to do the work. For doors we got hold of a furniture and door maker ( a Sikh) who had the required mechanised tools. he agreed to supply and fix the doors at cost.
    In a deprived society, there was bound to be a mob mentalty of me first, hiding of doors already supplied or resale of doors etc. But inspite of such problems, the basic shelter as a protction against winter could be provided to persons who stuck on to their homes, by the end of December.
    In many of the homes we could see the cement grills which had images of Ram, Krishna, Ganesh etc lying broken and also torn wall calenders having same pictures. The raiders did not bother for these. They just attacked any one with a turban and a beard!
    I did not see the persons who were the murderers but I did see the persons who gave their time & energy to help. They were Hindus, Christians and Muslims besides ofcoarse the Sikhs. That is why my faith in human beings still remained intact.
     
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  4. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Synopsis

    The Widow Colony is a film that takes an in-depth look into the lives of the widows of the Sikh men who were killed in the anti-Sikh massacre of November, 1984. The film, directed by Harpreet Kaur, explores the suffering of these women, their battle for justice and their struggle for survival in India.

    “The Widow Colony – India’s Unsettled Settlement”, borrows its name from the settlement in Tilak Vihar, on the west-side of New Delhi, which is locally called the Widow Colony or Vidhva Colony. The film takes the viewer to the areas of Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri, Sultanpuri and Mongolpuri, the same localities that suffered the major brunt of the Sikh killings in November of 1984. Along with the testimonies of the widows, supplemented with imagery of the killings and destruction that followed after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the film conveys the intensity of the tragedy that occurred 21 years ago.

    The film is provocative and scintillating in its effect but, what it achieves in doing most effectively is conveying the trauma that still haunts the lives of these widows. There is no denying that in all these years of analysis and discussion that has surrounded this issue, we have forgotten about the survivors and their need for rehabilitation. While the world has moved on marking the massacre as a chapter in history, these widows remain trapped in 1984. They have been in mourning for 21 years and will only be able to move forward when they see the perpetrators of their crimes punished. The widows express serious doubt in India’s judicial system based on the fact that over 4,000 Sikhs were killed in the capital city alone and 21 years and 11 investigations later, the Government has still not been able to deliver justice.

    The documentary maintains a fair balance and illustrates the state’s direct participation in the violence. This argument is reinforced by intellectual pundits who confirm that the government’s silence on the organization of this carnage and its delay in delivering justice only exposes its own involvement. Notable personalities such as Patwant Singh, Kuldip Nayar, Justice Sachar, Madhu Kishwar, Jaskaran Kaur, and attorney H.S.Phoolka make it clear that by not addressing the November 1984 massacre of Sikhs, India will only encourage the repetition of such atrocities as a political tool for the attainment of power. The film concludes that “pogroms will recur in India unless the State acknowledges and records these violations in a transparent and honest manner, towards cleansing itself of the people and institutions that perpetrate these crimes and addressing the survivors’ right to knowledge, justice, and reparation.” India has an opportunity to exit the rhetoric of democracy and become an advocate for Human Rights by delivering justice and this documentary will hopefully become a catalyst for this much needed progress.

    Technical Information:

    * Time: 73 minutes
    * Format: NTSC
    * Ratio: 4:3
    * Projection Format: BetaSP (others avaliable on request)


    Sach Productions:
    The idea behind the birth of Sach Productions is the creation of an agency that uses the film media to further the Sikh cause. The intention of Sach Productions is to introduce Sikhs to the world and then bring forth issues that concern them.

    The initial projects are short documentaries that introduce Sikhs to the Western world. The intention is to then bring issues relating to Punjab, Human Rights, Arts and Culture to the people.

    The utopian structure to disseminate these films is a subscription based service and also through distributors and mainstream media agencies to spread the "truth".

    Click here for more information on Sach Productions

    The Widow Colony - Gallery Pages
     

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