Documentary film traces the history of the turban in the Sikh religion, from its roots in India, through the battlefields of Europe, to the fight for British Sikhs to wear it without fear. It reveals that the turban is a crucial symbol of the Sikh faith – one that Sikhs will even risk their lives for In September 2011, Sikhs from all over Britain gathered in Parliament Square to protest.
The focus of their concern was the turban. Since the terrorist attacks of the 21st century Sikhs believe their turbans have singled them out for discrimination. In a case of mistaken identity the Sikhs claim they’ve been wrongly regarded as religious terrorists and subjected to increased airport security searches.
Sikh self-defense – Gatka Classes and Discipline – Gatka is a Sikh spiritual martial art developed by our Gurus for self-defence. It is this very art that was used by our Sikh ancestors in war time to free our people from religious persecution and oppression. Our ancestors had to learn how to fight quickly and effectively because we were always outnumbered and didn’t have the luxury of years of martial training. Ancient India has been the birthplace of many fighting arts. Gatka can be described as being a streamlined evolved version of ancient fighting techniques. During its development, techniques that were known and proven to work on the battlefield were included and other long winded, ineffective and wishy washy techniques were rejected. This resulted in an art that is very fast and easy to learn. Typically students of Gatka learn how to spar (fight) with weapons in their first class. Gatka is predominately a weapon based martial art using medieval weapons as swords, shields, axes, spears, daggers and archery etc. A typical class will incorporate stretching and fitness followed by weapon drills using bamboo canes (for safety) and then real time sparring with canes, shields and safety wear. We as Sikhs today owe a debt of gratitude to our Gurus for sharing this art with us, without it we wouldn’t be here today. We train to keep our martial heritage alive and to honour our ancestor’s courage and sacrifices.