“Mother’s Gurdwara” a short documentary film from Ri-Mita Bolsabi Productions. The film is directed and edited by Dr Satyakam Phukan, cinematography is by Raphael Warjri.
The subject matter of the documentary is the Mataji Gurdwara of Saaparmukh, Nagaon district Assam, India and the origin of the Assamese Sikh community.
In the second and third decades of the 19th century, Assam was attacked, overrun and pillaged by Burmese (Myanmarese) invaders. The deposed Assamese king Chandra Kanta Singha (Sandra Kanta Xingha), requested help from the king of Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He sent 500 soldiers under the command of Chaitanya Singh in aid of the beleagured Assamese. A decisive battle took place in a place named Hadira Soki, at the confluence of Manas river with Brahmaputra, presently in Barpeta district of Assam. Chaitanya Singh died fighting the Burmese, many Sikh soldiers laid down their lives. The wife of Chaitanya Singh, fondly called Mataji meaning mother, moved upstream with the remaining soldiers and settled down in a place called Saaparmukh, now in Nagaon district of Assam. She was a commanding and an endearing lady. Under her leadership and tutelage, the Sikh soldiers intermingled with the local population, resulting in maritial relation with Assamese ladies. That was the nidus of the Assamese Sikh community. Mataji established a Gurdwara there. It was in a thatched house till 1982, In 1982, the Assamese Sikh community rebuilt it and named it Gurdwara Mataji or the Mother’s Gurdwara in her honour.Saaparmukh is therefore the first village of the Assamese Sikh community. The Assamese Sikhs are totally integrated with the Assamese and cannot speak Punjabi also known as Gurmukhi. Yet the priests learn the language and they are following the religion of Sikhism without any short comings. Both the Mother’s Gurdwara and the community of the Assamese Sikhs are unique, in the realm of Sikhism.
Watch Mother’s Gurdwara – Full Video
Awards / Nominations:
- Best Direction Award (Documentary section) in the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival, Pune, Maharashtra, India, December 2017;
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