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US Teen Makes Film on Sikh Man Behind America’s Turban Policy Change

Filmed at the Indianapolis International Airport, ‘SINGH’ is slated to release next month.


Updated:February 14, 2019, 9:16 AM IST
US Teen Makes Film on Sikh Man Behind America’s Turban Policy Change
Actor-filmmaker Jenna Ruiz. (Image: Facebook/Jenna Ruiz)

An 18-year-old girl in the US has made a short film ‘SINGH’ based on a true story of an Indian-American Sikh philanthropist whose campaign forced the authorities in the US to change their policy towards turban of the Sikh community.

Directed by Jenna Ruiz, a student and actor from Indiana, the film is based on a true incident in 2007 when Sikh entrepreneur Gurinder Singh Khalsa was denied boarding a flight in Buffalo, New York, when he refused to remove his turban after successfully passing through each security measure at the airport.

Following this incident, Indianapolis-based Khalsa worked towards bringing the issue to the attention of the US Congress, which later resulted in headgear policies being changed in airports nationwide.

Khalsa was recently conferred with the prestigious Rosa Parks Trailblazer award for his campaign. In the short film, Khalsa is made to choose between his religious beliefs and his flight to see his mother in her last days.

“It is an honour to be able to showcase a moment in history that led to change in our TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Policy regarding the removal of headgear,” said Ruiz, who is pursuing bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“However, it’s more than that; it’s one man’s real-life story that will shed light on the true vulnerability and fear that comes with being racially profiled – this film will allow viewers to experience first-hand what it is like to be made to choose between religious beliefs and everyday life,” she said.

Since her start in the film industry at the age of nine, Ruiz has had the opportunity to appear in multiple films and commercials, as well as write, shoot and produce several films and music videos.

‘SINGH’ has been filmed at the Indianapolis International Airport and is slated to be released next month.

“I took this stand for all those who believe in religious liberty and freedom of faith,” Khalsa had said earlier in a statement.

“Incidents like this one happens for the greater good, where misunderstandings occur between people of different backgrounds and faith, strengthen our society,” said Khalsa, who recently announced that he will enter electoral politics in America and will run for City Council of Fishers.

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