November 10, 2011 06:55:54 PM IST Glamsham Editorial
Best remembered for his portrayal of Duryodhan in BR Chopra's TV epic, Mahabharat, and his directorial debut, Salman Khan starrer GARV, Puneet Issar returns to the big screen after a gap of 7 years with I AM SINGH- a salute to the undying spirit of Sikhs all over the world.
Throwing light on discrimination and racism that Indians have faced abroad, post what could only be described as one of the most appalling events the world has ever witnessed, the 9/11 terror strikes in New York that occurred over a decade ago. I AM SINGH focuses on how Americans mistook Sikhs to be part of Islamic terrorist groups and the trauma that follows.
Apart from directing the film, shot extensively in LA, New York, San Francisco and San Diego, the actor/director has also penned the script that is inspired by real life incidents and even include excerpts from Puneet's experiences, being a victim of hate crime himself.
Recalls Puneet Issar, "Gurudwaras were tortured and innocents were killed. Friends living in Los Angeles told us that even speaking in Punjabi in restaurants and public places was frowned upon because it was believed that they were hatching another conspiracy."
Upset with the manner in which Sikhs are stereotyped in Bollywood films, Puneet wants to reinstate that there's more to the men in turbans.
"We are portrayed either as buffoon havaldars, army officers, truck drivers or five-star hotel darwans in movies. But the fact is that though here are less than 3 crore Sikhs in the world and a fraction of those live in India, we pay 33 per cent Income Tax. With I am Singh I want to reiterate the fact that everyone wearing a turban isn't Osama..." adds Puneet.