Directed by Anand Patwardhan • Documentary • 1990 • 60 minutes
IN MEMORY OF FRIENDS documents the violence and terror in Punjab, India – a land torn apart by religious fundamentalists and a repressive government. After examining the political turmoil of the late 1970′s and the rise of Sikh fundamentalism, the film focuses on the legacy of Bhagat Singh, a young socialist executed by the British in 1931 at the age of 23. Singh has since become a legend. Today the State eulogizes him as a nationalist while Sikh separatists portray him as a Sikh militant. In fact, Singh was neither. Just prior to his death he wrote a book which he entitled ‘Why I Am An Atheist.’ In strife-torn Punjab a band of brave Sikhs and Hindus carry Bhagat Singh’s secular legacy from village to village. In the religiously charged countryside ideas of internationalism and secularism now carry a price.