Punjab CM Slams ‘1917’ Star’s ‘Diversity’ Remark; Actor Apologises

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday, 24 January, advised British actor Laurence Fox to gain knowledge of military history, after the actor said a scene from his film ‘1917’ was forcing diversity on viewers with its depiction of a Sikh soldier, according to an Indian Express report.

The Punjab chief minister, according to the report, termed Fox's remarks as "bunkum" (rubbish).

The actor's remarks have triggered an uproar among Indians and Sikhs in the UK, as well as military historians.

Singh, while speaking with The Indian Express, told the daily that the Indian troops, which arrived in Europe in 1914, played an important role in preventing a military disaster.

"“This is an actor. What does he know about war history? He is talking bunkum and should read history.”" - Capt. Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab

Further, the Punjab CM said two divisions went from India – the Third Lahore Division, and the Seventh Meerut Division. He told The Indian Express that his regiment was part of the Jalandhar Brigade, which comprised the 129th Baluchis, 47 Sikhs and 15 Sikhs.

He further said that the Indian troops had been in contact with the Germans up North.

"“We fought a delaying action right up to the Ypres line. We very much fought alongside the British.” " - Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab

Further, The Indian Express reported that Squadron Leader Rana Chhina, a military historian with United Services Institute in Delhi, said that it was good that the movie had shown the presence of an Indian soldier, albeit briefly.

Fox had said that 'forcing diversity on people' is 'institutionally racist' after saying that the inclusion of Nabhaan Rizwan portraying Sepoy Jondalar was not in keeping with the film's surroundings.

He, however, apologised to the Sikh community later, saying that he was being clumsy in expressing himself over the matter.

"Fellow humans who are Sikhs, I am as moved by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour," Fox said in a tweet.

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