Is The Punjabi Film Industry Too Big To Care About Concerned Voices From Abroad?


The official teaser of the upcoming Punjabi film, Kala Shah Kala, was released online on Wednesday. The film stars Binnu Dhillon and Sargun Mehta in the lead roles and has been touted as “a quirky love story that’ll make you smile from ear to ear.”

The 1-minute 20-seconds long teaser starts off with a man going through a facial steam session in a village salon. Once the session is over and the towel is taken off his face, he is revealed to be Binnu’s character. Unusually dark-skinned, this man is disappointed that subjecting his face to supremely hot steam did not help him even a bit – he is still dark enough to scare a little kid.

The film’s poster and Binnu Dhillon’s character have caused quite a stir outside of India due to the ‘Black Face’ approach of the directors of the film. Yet inside of India, the uproar seems to be non existent. From print to TV, the question about the ‘Blackening Up’ of the face of Binnu Dhillon’s character has not even raised as much of a murmur. Does this highlight that India is still obsessed with the whole “white look” syndrome and demonizing those who are dark is just part and parcel of life?

Rupinder Kaur, writer/blogger/poet and author of the poetry book, Rooh, took to twitter and shared her thoughts. Rupinder did not just share her thoughts but backed them up with the translation of the classic song.

We approached two people from the Punjabi film industry today who have had a direct involvement with the forthcoming film Kala Shah Kala. They did speak to us, though they wished to remain anonymous, they both said near enough the same thing.

They both laughed at what we had asked them, saying we are taking it too serious and the film is solely for entertainment purposes and that people in Punjab and India have not once mentioned anything like this to them, suggesting that maybe outside of India society is offended to quickly.

Is this the case? 

Rupinder Kaur was not the only person who used twitter to express their thoughts on the film:

Deepa Crash from the Good Cha Podcast also highlighted the issues with the poster and film.

We could easily print more tweets and Instagram posts about Kala Shah Kala that mention this whole incident, but would they have an impact? Is India immune to such criticism and is the ever growing Punjabi film Industry just too big to care about a few lone voices from abroad?

Are you offended by the poster? Or is it just harmless fun as those involved with the film have stated…

If you do not quite grasp the whole history of the “Black Face” issue then please check out the great article by By 


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