About this project
Hunger for Humanity:
A Non Profit Documentary Film
Our Pledge - THIS IS A NOT FOR PROFIT FILM
100% of any profits that result from this film, are pledged to the survivors and bereaved families of the 1984 Sikh Holocaust and 2 charities named by Bapu Surat Singh and his family. For more info on the 1984 Sikh Holocaust, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_anti-Sikh_riots
FUNDING UPDATE: After raising just over £2,000 on our first crowdfunding drive, we have decided to extend the period by another 8 weeks, to get together an amount that will allow us to make this film. A massive THANK YOU to everyone who helped us on our first fundraiser, we will be adding whatever we raise from this effort with the previous one! If you haven't donated yet, you now have another chance - please be a part of this film!
Hunger for Humanity is the eye opening, thought provoking and emotional story of a man who has gone above and beyond in the fight for human rights. He stands up for those that are victims of a state which has been accused of carrying out abuses against minorities for over 30 years, but continues to escape international scrutiny for these alleged violations against some of its citizens.
No we are not talking about a country in the middle east or an unheard of corner of the world. This state we speak of, is India.
In Punjab, the most northern state of India, this 83 year old human rights activist has not eaten or drank water for almost 600 days. Let's just say that again, nearly 600 days, with no water and no food...
Though he has spent his life standing up against human rights abuse in India, the start of his activism can be traced to June 1984. The Indian Army stormed the Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple), the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, in Amritsar, Punjab. The attack was claimed by the government at the time, as a last resort to flush out what were described as "terrorists" from the temple, but resulted in a significant loss of civilian life. While the official statistics state minimal civilian casualties, other estimates of civilians killed by the army reach the tens of thousands. In November the same year, the police and Government in Delhi stood down and watched as bloodthirsty gangs of men hunted down and massacred an estimated 20,000 Sikhs, in an apparent revenge attack after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated at her home in Delhi, by her very own Sikh bodyguard. Many Sikhs believe that this was at best the authorities allowing Sikhs to be killed. At worst, they feel it is an example of the most diabolical state sponsored violence the world has ever seen. The official story has been questioned and challenged, and after a media blackout at the time, without an independent inquiry, the truth remains elusive over 32 years later. In June 1984, 51 year old state employed teacher Surat Singh resigned from his post in protest the day after the army attack on the Golden Temple.
Since then, Surat Singh Khalsa has dedicated his life to standing up for those who many Sikhs feel have suffered at the hands of the authorities. Some say an entire generation of young Sikh men have gone missing from the rural villages of Punjab. Others claim they have been tortured, beaten and mercilessly treated by the police for speaking out. Some are allegedly in prison on trumped up charges, and some even illegally detained - all in the name of national security.
There are several Sikh political prisoners in Punjab, who have completed their jail terms, and are being kept incarcerated against their human rights. Their cases are deferred, not heard or simply ignored by the Government and the authorities.
Bapu Surat Singh has gone without food or water as a peaceful protest, but not just for a few Sikh prisoners. It is for all humanity, for all human rights, for all of those people who are victims to miscarriages of justice and for all minorities who are preyed upon by powerful administrations who have no fear of being held to account by the international community or the media. The chief minister of Punjab has labelled him a "troublemaker". After Surat Singh wrote him an open letter, Prime Minister Narendra Modhi's silence is deafening. Bapu Surat Singh has been arrested and detained against his will, no less than 4 times, and force fed, at a hospital in Ludhiana, Punjab. He lies in the ICU at the DMC Hospital in Ludhiana, in critical condition.
In January 2016, GraySkull Media managed to get an exclusive interview with Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa. Being guarded by over 30 Punjab Police officers, who are there to keep the media out and keep Bapu Surat Singh in, so that his story may never be told.
With unprecedented access, we have started making this film, the story of one mans' struggle against a world power and their conduct, a story which is being ignored by the world's mainstream media.
In the words of Bapu Surat Singh himself:
"The question is not about the release of a few Sikh prisoners, the question is about the inalienable right of a person to live life without fetters. The question is about the regaining of liberty after you have completed the full term of one’s sentence in prison. The question is about justice, equality and fair play. The question is about parity between the rich and famous and the poor and the underdogs."
We need your help for the next phase of our production. We need your help to tell this story.
So what do you need from me?
We need to raise £30,000 (UK Pounds) to cover our production costs, to complete the film, by filming at Bapu Surat Singh's home village, including speaking to the people closest to him, and those who are in support of his cause around the world.
What will you spend my money on?
All money raised during our crowdfunding campaign will be spent on specifically, all production costs. Editing, equipment hire, licensing (images, music, archive footage), transportation and other logistical costs associated with producing a Documentary of this magnitude. We have placed a great deal of our own personal investment into this film but need your help to achieve our goals if we want to tell this story.
What do I get if I invest?
Depending on your level of investment, you could be given a personal thank you from the production team, a mention on social media for your contribution, a digital copy of the finished film, a DVD copy of the film or even a credit on the film as a Producer. There is also the chance to actually be part of our Production Team in India when we fly to film the next phase!
Where is the film going to be shown?
After we have completed this Documentary, the aim is to get it shown at some of the biggest and well known film festivals, where we can look for a distributor to help us get this incredible story out to a much bigger audience. After that, we would look to licence it for Television transmission or a video streaming service, worldwide.
What happens to the profits from the film?
Once the film is complete, if there are any profits made whatsoever from any sale of the film to a distributor or sponsor, the production team at GraySkull Media pledges 100% of the profits after production costs are paid, to the bereaved families of the 1984 Sikh Genocide and 2 other Human Rights charities, which will be selected by the family of Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa.
Other Ways You Can Help
If there's no way you can contribute to our campaign, that doesn't mean you can't be a part of this movement. You can still help us! Why not: Share our campaign page on social media, using the Indiegogo share tools Raise awareness of Bapu Surat Singh and his cause, which is for all of humanity
Thank you for reading, and if you can, please help us finish our film.
The team at GraySkull Media.
Risks and challenges
With over 12 years of experience working in Television in the UK for major TV networks, the team behind GraySkull Media know how to tell great stories. Any new production company starting out needs some time to grow and develop, and whilst we won't admit to producing a string of documentaries in the past, we know with the expertise, skills and passion that runs through our team that we can deliver on this and every other project that we take on in the future.
With any documentary comes risks and obstacles. We have already secured a key interview for this film and have already made steps to gain access to more key individuals to tell this story, especially ones that are passionate about getting this story to a worldwide audience. We pledge that we will see this project through, no matter what the obstacles. Our Lead Producer has a tenacity that is essential to making a film of this kind, and contacts and connections that position us perfectly to tell this story.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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