The Great General - Baba Gurbaksh Singh (Banda Bahadur Singh Bahadur) | Sikh Philosophy Network
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The Great General - Baba Gurbaksh Singh (Banda Bahadur Singh Bahadur)

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The Great General - Baba Gurbaksh Singh (Banda Bahadur Singh Bahadur)

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A new film celebrates the life and exploits of Sikh general Baba Banda Bahadur Singh

In the early 18th century, Sikh warrior Baba Banda Bahadur Singh set forth from Nanded in Maharashtra to Punjab, where governor Wazir Khan had unleashed a rule of tyranny and brutality. He was accompanied by 25 soldiers and a hukamnama (edict) from his master, the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. Banda Bahadur’s strategies and courage, still celebrated in song and lore, won the battle of Sirhind, the Mughal provincial capital which was second only to Delhi in importance. Now, Banda Bahadur’s exploits will be celebrated in Cinevision writer-director Harjinder Singh Ricky’s feature film called Baba Banda Bahadar Singh. The film, being produced by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), was released at a press conference at the Government Art Gallery and Museum, Sector 10, on Wednesday.

Essaying the lead role is Gurpreet Singh. “I have played several Sikh characters but nothing beats this role. Playing Baba Banda was a different experience altogether. It was very inspiring,” says the actor, who has previously played Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in Raj Babbar’s Maharaja Ranjit Singh for Doordarshan.

Adds Ricky, “The idea was to take the exploits of one of the greatest warriors in Sikh history to the people, and thus showcase the history of the Sikhs to the world. Not only was Baba Banda a great warrior, but he was an ego-centric, proud man before he met Guru Gobind Singh. That one meeting changed his life and he became an amritdhaari and one of the greatest generals in Guruji’s army.”

He recounts how he got every weapon of war — from canons and guns to shields, swords, bows and arrows — custom-made, recreated scenes from history, trained his crew to fight and ride horses and elephants, and employed expensive visual effects for an epic effect. “Handling the animals was the toughest part for they were difficult to control. The elephants were hired from Ambala and Ludhiana. Each elephant consumed about 3.5 quintals of sugarcane everyday and there were six people handling each elephant. It was a big task!” he says. The film was shot in Dharak village, off Chunni, near Mohali.

Manpower, however, was the easiest to get since the SGPC secretary would send busloads of them. “But, finding the right person to play the lead took a lot of effort. The actor had to be a Gursikh (pure Sikh), an amritdhaari ,” he says. Ricky held auditions across Punjab and zeroed in on Gurpreet from Batala. Sandeep Singh and Jasmeet Singh, who played two of Baba Banda’s five main lieutenants, joined in at the press conference, both dressed as warriors. “There will be two more sequels,” says Ricky, who will be documenting Baba Banda’s life till his martyrdom.
The film also coincides with the 300th anniversary celebration of the Sirhind Fateh Divas and will soon be telecast on television.

The Great General
 

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Re: The Great General

I am tired of "cartoon" Singhs running around playing with "ketchup". I hope they make it historically accurate with the right clothing, armour and swords... and dark and gritty (like 300 or Braveheart). swordfight
 

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Re: The Great General

Here is an update. The film is produced by SGPC.

Silver screen to glorify Sikh culture



Chandigarh: To showcase the glorious history of the Sikhs to the world, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has for the first time produced a film Baba Banda Singh Bahadar, the worldwide release of which was done at a media-conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday. It is also the first time that a live character has been allowed to play the role of a Great from Sikh history.

Hailing it as a good initiative by the SGPC to showcase the immense sacrifices made by the great Sikh martyrs for safeguarding humanity at large against tyranny and oppression, Sri Akal Takht Jathedar, Gurbachan Singh said let it inspire the misguided among the Sikh youth to shun all vices like drug addiction and follow the tenets of Sikhism in its true spirit. Endorsing his views SGPC President, Avtar Singh said the film was an apt tribute to the grit, determination and dedication of Baba Banda Singh Bahadar coinciding with the celebration of 300 th anniversary of the Sirhind Fateh Divas.

He expressed confidence that the Sikhs worldwide will watch it and get inspired by the sacrifices made by their forefathers.

According to writer-director Harjit Singh Ricky, who has several Punjabi tele films, TV serials and Punjabi and Hindi music videos to his credit, said though the one-hour film was conceptualized by the SGPC at the 300th anniversary of the Sirhind Fateh Divas held in May this year, he had been doing research on Baba Banda Singh Bahadar for nearly a year. “When SGPC handed me the responsibility for making the film with the shortest of deadlines, we immediately sprung into action. We wrote the script and got it approved from the film committee of the SGPC. We zeroed in on Gurpreet Singh, an assistant production manager from one of the national television channels, to play the role of Baba Banda Singh Bahadar because he fit into the role perfectly. He is a gursikh, possesses a good height and physique and is a good horse rider.

“For locations we explored far off places like Kala Amb and Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh but then somebody suggested a location closer home. We settled for a place near Dharak village,, just off Chunni, near Mohali, which offered a big field and adjoining jungle. It coincidentally turned out to be the same route taken by the forces led by Baba Banda Singh Bahadar while moving from Chapar..

Silver screen to glorify Sikh culture
 

BazGrewal

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Wow so this is the 1st time that a live character will be playing the role of a important sikh from History?
 

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