Diverse Boxing Sports Drama “Tiger” Hopes To Inspire Sikh and Punjabi Audiences

January 03, 2019 06:50 PM

LONDON: Parminder Nagra was barred from competing in a Canadian boxing championship because of his beard, which is a mandatory article of his Sikh faith. He challenged the beard ban and in 2000, the Canadian courts ruled in his favour. Now a new film deals with the discrimination and racism he, and other persons of colour, face in upholding their religious and personal sovereignty in light of the demands of Western norms and ideals.

Prem Singh and Michael Pugliese both star in the film as Nagra and his adversary, respectively. Along with Saurav Dutt they co-wrote the screenplay and the novelisation as a means of producing work they were passionate about after enduring frustration with the roles available to them. The duo raised $4 million to make the film and pitched the feature to Academy Award nominee Rourke directly while he was boxing at a gym.

Rourke portrays head coach and mentor Frank Donovan, while Janel Parrish plays Nagra’s attorney as he embarks on his journey of protecting his rights.

The filmmakers and writers behind the inspirational film hope BAME audiences in the United Kingdom will be similarly uplifted by this inspirational true story.

"Hollywood has to wake up to this. We live in a multicultural world. Tiger and Crazy Rich Asians are testament to what's happening in the world," said co-writer and star Michel Pugliese after other movies like Black Panther, Girls Trip and Get Out scored with ethnically diverse audiences.

"We hope Tiger can do that for another religion and culture," Singh added.

The independent movie is based on the true story of Canadian Sikh boxer Pardeep Nagra, played by Singh. Though lightning fast with his punches, Nagra was barred from competing in the 1999 Canadian boxing championships because he refused to shave off his beard and fight clean-shaven.

Nagra eventually had to go to the Canadian courts to overturn the ban in 2000 on religious discrimination grounds.

The Wrestler star Rourke, who left acting to try his hand at a career in professional boxing, stars as Nagra's coach.

Saurav Dutt, who is penning the official novelization of the film entitled Tiger, says the film is timely, as “U.S. Army recruits have had to fight in the courts to wear their religiously mandated beards and turbans in uniform, and Muslim and Sikh communities in Britain have gone to their own courts to overturn a similar ban on amateur boxers fighting in the ring with a beard. We want to inspire others to not give in and fight for what they believe" Dutt said.

The film will debut at select festivals in the Autumn and has already taken home the Best Feature Film award at the San Diego International Film Festival. It hits theaters in New York, Los Angeles and Canada on Nov. 30 and will be coming to Europe and the United Kingdom in 2019.

Punjab constitutes advisory board to address grievances of jail inmates
The Punjab Government has constituted State Advisory Board aimed at the rehabilitation, welfare and redressing grievances as well as reformation of the jail inmates.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Jail Department, Punjab, said that the Principal Secretary Jails would be the Chairman of the board while I.G. Jails would be Member Secretary. The other members would be the Judicial Secretary or his representative of atleast Secretary level, I.G. (Headquarters), Director Technical Education, Director Health Services, Director Social Security and the Chief Engineer PWD.

The spokesperson further divulged that other than the above there would be Non-Official members too with the inclusion of MP from Ludhiana (Kotkapura)  Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Professor Harshinder Kaur MD Paediatrics at Government Medical College, Patiala, Social Worker  Mukesh Sharma, Ex MLA Kathunangal Savinder Singh and I.G. (Jails) Retd. Bikramjit Singh Sandhu.

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