THE SIKH TIMES
Noteworthy News and Analysis from Around the World
In-Depth Coverage of Issues Concerning the Global Sikh Community Including Self-Determination, Democracy, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Antiracism, Religion, and South Asian Geopolitics
Home | News Analysis Archive | Biographies | Book Reviews | Events | Photos | Links | About Us | Contact Us
The Jury: Questionable Portrayal of Sikhs
A review of The Jury by P.B.S. Masterpiece Theatre (Aired Sundays, Apr. 6 through 27, 2003).
By KULBIR SINGH MALHOTRA
Excerpts from P.B.S.'s introduction to The Jury: "In London's imposing Old Bailey courthouse, a gruesome crime is brilliantly prosecuted, ingeniously defended, and then painstakingly judged. A 15 year-old white boy has been killed in cold blood. His classmate, a quiet, reclusive Sikh boy, is on trial for murder. It is a trial that becomes a tinderbox for the justice system and race relations in the country. . . . Probing the personal stories of the ordinary citizens who are given the ultimate authority over truth, The Jury weaves a fascinating tale of troubled lives in a racially charged case. . . . Sir Derek Jacobi stars as defense counsel George Cording, who represents a Sikh teenager charged with killing a fellow pupil with 28 blows from a ceremonial sword." Curiously, The Jury won the outstanding achievement award by the Race In The Media Board in the U.K.
P.B.S., Sydney, Australia, May 2, 2003
"This film presents Sikhs in a manner that misrepresents religion and creates interracial disharmony. It is a fact that 'some provocative sentiments are expressed by some of the characters,' and the producers of the drama unsuccessfully tried their best to balance some vague positive views of Sikh religion. This drama is a disgrace to the film and T.V. industry. They should have courage to make a film depicting the fact of Christianity that 'Christians wear crosses around their necks and the cross was used as a murder weapon.' White Australians celebrate A.N.Z.A.C. day on Apr. 25th as a mark of respect to their armed forces who died in Gallipoli during W.W.I. But they are unaware of the fact that the total number of Sikhs killed (fighting for allied forces) at Gallipoli was more than the numbers of A.N.Z.A.C. forces (Australia & New Zealand). In the two World Wars, 83,000 Sikhs lost their lives and a further 109,000 were injured whilst fighting for the British Army."