Asa Nu Mann Watan Da (In search of Roots) Diaspora Film Screening


Diaspora Film Screening


GRFDT organized a Film-screening titled “Asa Nu Mann Watan Da” on 22nd September, 2012 at Room No- 13, CSSS II, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi. A welcome note and brief introduction about the film screening was given by Mr. Suraj Beri, Research Scholar of the Centre for the Study of Social System, JNU. A brief introduction by all the participants was given. Dr Sadananda Sahoo also introduced Prof. Vinod Khadria, who is an eminent scholar on diaspora and migration issue to the participants.

“Asa Nu Mann Watan Da” was a three hour long movie based on the social and psychological conflicts and trauma of a both families who are back home and who left home and settled in Canada. The diaspora, in this film, can be understood with two perspectives which is an opportunity for development as well as the problem of acculturation, homesickness and affiliation towards own people, culture and country. The film portrays the story of Kawaljeet Singh who moved to Canada leaving behind his mother, younger brother and village for a greener pasture. The film throws light on various economic issues such as remittances flow to the rural Punjab and its social impact.

This film also looks at very serious issues such as “Kabutar-bazi” and how the innocent people get trapped into it while moving abroad. The longing for home is well depicted as the emotional trauma due to separation from home is deeply felt by families abroad. Though the emotional feelings vary across generation, yet there is a deep sense of comfort when it comes to home. Some people also get excited to go outside India and get settle there. Initially, people attract from western culture, development, economy and materialistic lifestyle but soon they realize the emotions, feelings and love for own people and nation.

On the opposite, the family-members have huge expectations from those who are living abroad. It also gives a kind of social prestige among the community people because they think them as rich and money-lenders. The irony is often felt when diaspora is considered as foreigner even though they get respect back home. They are denied the rights of property and rights of ownership by their own people. Even, the legal-administrative system creates hindrance to give their proper land-rights just because they live far from their home-country. When Kawaljeet went to judicial officer to get the property on his name, he took bribe from him and blamed him that he is an outsider (foreigner) and he himself responsible for the risk of the property.

The film also touched upon issues such as gender, youth aspiration, contradictions of new generation towards foreign land etc. The stereo type of gender is still visible. The father becomes suspicious when one male friend dropped


his daughter. After spending his major time in Canada, he is (Kawaljeet Singh) still having gender stereotype, which is evident when he witnessed his daughter dating with her male-friend. Even, Kawaljeet’s wife is very traditional, sincere and house-wife who has her no personal wish against his husband’s wish. It shows the burden of patriarchy followed the migrants in the new place of settlement.

The film also depicts how the family and cultural factor becomes important during marriages. The marriage is a social institution which precedes not only the relation between groom and bride but also transfers the social-cultural identity of family or a group.  Mehar, son of Kawaljeet decided to get marry with a Punjabi village girl for the marriage after coming from Canada. He spent his childhood in Canada but he kept the family and culture at his priorities for selecting girl for the marriage. The diaspora people always have emotional attachment with their culture, festivals, life-style, family and their community people.

The diasporic people faced many problems but still they wish to return back to their roots because they take it as their pride. It is thus, the title justifies the issues “Asa Nu Mann Watan Da” which means ‘my country’s pride is my pride’.

At last, the programme was ended with the discussion by Miss Kshipra Uke and then during the open-discussion, many issues and questions related to gender, second immigrant generation and cultural affiliation etc. has been discussed among the participants. The film shows that the homesickness and loneliness from the own culture called back the people who are living across the country towards their homeland.


Report By-

Monika Bisht SOITS,

IGNOU, Delhi 

Email: [email protected]


Time and Place:

Date:   Friday, Nov 09, 2012
Venue:   Room No 13, CSSS, SSS II, JNU
City/Twon:   New Delhi
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