Salman Khan to make big budget Sikh movie ‘Lions of Sea’ on Komagata Maru heros
Salman Khan next movie, after Bajrangi Bhaijaan, will be based on the Komagata Maru incident, Lions of the Sea, a pre-independence period-drama featuring Irrfan Khan in the lead. The movie will be shot in India, UK, Hong Kong and Canada net year.
“Lions of the Sea is a film that depicts heroism of all those who were on board and challenged the racial policies of the British Empire,” Salman who has partnered with Ajay Virmani on the film said while addressing the media, adding, “It is imperative to tell this story as it mirrors the current global refugee crisis. Lions of the Sea will allow us to embrace multiculturalism, diversity and bring humanity closer together,” he concluded.
The Komagata Maru incident involved the Japanese steamship of the same name on which a group of Indian citizens, mostly Sikhs, all subjects of the British Raj, attempted to immigrate to Canada in 1914. The steamship sailed from Hong Kong, another British colony, via Shanghai, China, and Yokohama, Japan, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, carrying the passengers from Punjab.
Of them, only 24 were admitted to Canada and the ship was forced to return to India. This was one of several incidents in the early 20th century in which exclusion laws in Canada and the United States were used to exclude immigrants of Asian origin.
“It’s a powerful human story of struggle and triumph in which Irrfan will play a Sikh named Gurdit Singh. The story of those Sardars, Muslims and Hindus is relevant even today as we hear and read about the refugee crisis and racial profiling constantly. We have begun work on the preproduction and will announce the director and the rest of the cast in the next few days,” confirms Amar Butala, Chief Operating Officer of Salman Khan Films.
Meanwhile, Irrfan begins prep for the film early next year.