Reaching Sikh Youth requires investment and trust

In September 2010 we were happy to learn that we won 3rd place at this year’s Sikhnet Film Festival. The festival is in my view both innovative and inspiring. It is one of those initiatives that hopes to motivate people to get  their cameras out  and communicate who we are.

Back in 2008 I recorded a film that focused on the need for Sikhs to create their own media so that Bollywood would do not get away with distortion or dilution of the Sikh Identity and its principles. Although recently actors have ‘don a turban’ to take on roles and some of the storylines have improved – Rocket Singh was a nice film, they are still largely commercial and there is a dearth of documentaries, both audio and video based.

I suggested (btw so nice to be quoted recently!) that:

If Sikhs do not create their own media, then somebody else will do it for them.

At the end of another film I made entitled, ‘The Power of Media‘ I tried to take a positive perspective by suggesting that there is so much heritage and interconnection with the influence of Sikhs in areas such as technology, sport and service that unless we record these in a humble way we cannot get people to stop cases of mistaken identity and instead start  understanding the contribution that Sikhs have made globally.

The only way we can do this is by setting up funds for film foundations, competitions and using new and social media channels. Funding requires courage and commitment from those who have ‘our’ funds…

Earlier in the year I was astounded to learn how difficult it was for one film maker to get funding regarding a film exploring the Sikh contribution during last century’s world wars. It is not as if the money is not there, it is simply the need to trust that money spent will be beneficial in another way.

In recent weeks I too have been frustrated over the extent of a small investment in some software that I have developed for media channels. I’m questioning myself over charging for its development. Surely Satellite transponder owners and people like SkyTV are not compromised or subject to a period of long contemplation over their service payments or investment.

I’m beginning to wonder if my technology insight is too early? I suggested to the media channels in question that they should take the opportunity to engage with youth using new media and mobile Apps as after all that is mode that they (the youth) are native to.
Sadly, I still wait but am hopeful that someone will wake-up and smell the roses. Interestingly, collectively and internationally we can build wonderful buildings but we also need to establish good libraries of content.

In summary, unless we keep ‘pushing’ for change, it is not going to happen. We need  to demand relevant content rather than be simply fed it.

Here is the film that we put together. Thanks again, Sikhnet:

Categories: 2010, Media Appearances, Sikh Media, Sikhs

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