Diljit Dosanjh talks Jogi and anti-Sikh riots: ‘The right word is genocide’


Jogi actor and singer Diljit Dosanjh talks about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the importance of telling difficult stories through film.

The anti-Sikh riots of 1984 were one of the darkest periods in modern Indian history; a time of great violence, discrimination and impotence. The death toll in the Sikh community is estimated at between 3,350 and 8,000 people in the violence that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

This week, Netflix released a movie called Jogi, starring Dosanjh and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, about a Sikh college student caught in the middle of the riots. Dosanjh and Zafar are well aware of the importance of a film like Jogi, as evidenced by the lead actor’s call for the riots to be called “murders.”

Diljit Dosanjh talks about the movie Jogi

Dosanjh told the Press Trust of India that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots should be remembered in history as a “murder” and not an isolated riot.

“Don’t call it a riot, the right word is killing people. When there is a two-sided fight between people, then things go wrong. To me, it should be called murder. It is not something that has happened to one person or a few. I know it happened together, with all of us. – Diljit Dosanjh, via PTI

Dosanjh added: “If I talk about any tragedy, it’s personal. We’re talking about it together in the film. I’ve heard about it since I was born, and we’re still living with it. .We all have heard many stories and can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world. But, anything can happen.

“This is not a new story. This movie [Jogi] they’re talking about the same things we grew up listening to. What happened is there for all to see. We always post a good story…the film is a simple and fun filmmaking project. But we need to make films about these topics from history as well. – Diljit Dosanjh, via Koimoi

Jogi director Ali Abbas Zafar sat down with Telegraph India and shared Dosanjh’s initial reaction to the film. Zafar said: “When he heard the news, he became silent for a while. He did not ask any questions because he knew that such situations had happened to people.

“He and I were born at the same time as the riots. We didn’t live then… we were too young. But we have heard stories of people who suffered. A lot of stories are embedded in Jogi mythology. He can relate to them. – Ali Abbas Zafar, via Telegraph India

The veteran film actor added: “I couldn’t resist [Dosanjh to join the film]. He comes from a place where he knows how much responsibility he has for this film, how much responsibility he has for the people who have had this experience.”

The Director explains the significance of Jogi’s speech

Zafar also spoke about the importance of a film like Jogi for the modern Indian film industry that embraces fantasy and superhero stories.

“When you read or research events in world history – whether it’s World War I and World War II, the Partition of the country, the riots of ’84 – it’s scary story,” he said.

“At that time, one would question human instinct… how can it change so quickly and so quickly? How can someone who was your friend suddenly turn into your enemy?” – Ali Abbas Zafar, via Telegraph India

In times of violence and in the past, Jogi aims to “make people aware that in the midst of so much chaos, you can always find people with whom people live, no matter where they are from. them and their identities.”

“The scenes you see in Jogi happened. We put all those stories together and weaved a story around it. But the main theme of the film is the idea of ​​never giving up on love and hope. everyone who went on to make this movie just worked on it. When people walk out of the movie, hopefully they think that no matter what happens, love will win in the end .” – Ali Abbas Zafar, via Telegraph India

Zafar also admits that Dosanjh is important, not for the story but for the development and progress of the film, so that the final product we can stream on Netflix today.

“Jogi is a story about finding hope in the midst of adversity. Hence the germ of the film. We were lucky to have Diljit (Dosanjh) on board because there was no one better than him to play. combine this story. Today, Jogi is Jogi for him.” – Ali Abbas Zafar, via Telegraph India

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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