Diljit Dosanjh has been steadily making his place in Bollywood one film at a time. With films like Udta Punjab, Phillauri, Arjun Patiala and Good News in his repertoire the actor is going great guns in the Hindi film industry. Though Diljit says he cannot bring any substantial or paradigm shift all by himself but he is determined to change the image of Sardars in films and popular culture and will ensure that whatever film he is doing Sardars are not made fun of.
In a recent interview to a leading daily, when Diljit was quizzed about what kind of change would he like to bring about in the portrayal of Sardar characters in Hindi films, he said, “What change can I bring alone? But what I feel is that whatever film I am doing, I will make sure that a Sardar character is not made fun of. It is a different thing that Sardars love making merry and having fun, but that doesn’t mean people should make fun of us.”
Diljit further said that although Sardars were mere caricatures in previous era films things have changed minutely but there is still a long way to go. He said, “I don’t think there has been a lot of change, but I also think if movies with Sikh characters do good business, things will be different for us. Right now, I don’t even know how people will accept me in Arjun Patiala. There used to be times when I didn’t fit in any roles in Bollywood. But now things are changing.”
Elaborating on why he couldn’t fit any role in Bollywood he said, “Because there were no turban heroes. Initially, even Punjabi films didn’t have actors with turbans. Even when I had started acting, we didn’t have heroes wearing turbans. People had told me not to enter the film industry as ‘it was not my zone’. They said that I should stick to singing songs only because we had Sardar singers but we didn’t have Sardar actors. Then slowly Sardar actors started doing films in Punjabi cinema and these movies did good business. That’s when people there realised that Sardar actors can also bring business and can be attractive. First, it was believed that people won’t find us attractive enough to come and see us in films. Even I had accepted that. But then things changed for us all. I haven’t done too many Hindi films yet, but let’s see what happens in the future.”
Diljit will soon be seen in the upcoming film Arjun Patiala which is an out-and-out comedy. The film is slated to release on July 26 and also stars Kriti Sanon and Varun Sharma.
(Source: Indian Express)