London: UK's Attorney General Rt Hon
Dominic Grieve has joined filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal at the
official launch of the new documentary film 'Sikhs@War' to pay
tribute to Sikh soldiers who fought for Britain during the
Speaking on the occasion last evening, Grieve
expressed his admiration for the brave Sikhs.
"Their selfless service deserves the widest
recognition. It has helped us in Britain to enjoy the freedom
we have today," he said.
The documentary was screened at the Houses of
Birmingham-based filmmaker and television journalist
Jay Singh-Sohal described the launch in Parliament as a
"For a senior government official to pay such a
tribute is a sign of how important the Sikh contribution has
historically been and how vital this vibrant community still
is in all walks of British life."
The Attorney General was presented a Sikh ceremonial
dagger, a Kirpan, by the filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal and co-host
Cllr Santokh Singh Chhokar who described the occasion as a
"landmark event highlighting the Sikh tradition within British
More than 100,000 Sikh soldiers from South Asia
fought on the Western front during the Great War alone.
The film narrates their story for the first time by
following a teenager retracing his Great Grandfathers
footsteps in the trenches of Flanders.
15-year-old Jaspal Singh is inspired by his
forefather's actions during the War to maintain his own Sikh
identity despite being bullied because of his uncut hair and
From his hometown of Coventry to Ypres and Neuve
Chapelle, Jaspal discovers the important role Sikh soldiers
played during the conflict in stopping the German advance over
The event brought together members of the Sikh
community alongside politicians, serving military personnel,
multi-faith community and business leaders.
First Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 22:17