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Say hello to the new super hero in a turban

© Surpreet Singh Manchanda

Poster of Super Sikh © Surpreet Singh Manchanda

“Our hero is not a misogynist, he is not a bigot, he is not a racist and he is very comfortable with strong, highly educated powerful women.” A strong man that respects women is needed in the fight for women’s rights.

An Elvis-loving, multicultural superhero ‘Deep Singh’ is a Super Sikh who is fighting the Taliban and raising awareness about the mistaken identity of Sikhs who have often been confused as Muslims in post 9/11 America and have been subjected to discrimination.

The artist Holding two issues © Surpreet Singh Manchanda

The artist Holding two issues © Surpreet Singh Manchanda

“Why aren’t our superheroes multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and diverse?” is the question that nagged Surpreet Singh Manchanda, a San Francisco based technology executive and his colleague Eileen Alden, an Oakland-based screenwriter. They came together to create the comic series Super Sikh and gave birth to a new age superhero – an educated, multicultural Sikh who dons a turban and aviator sunglasses and is a huge Elvis fan. The turban is an important part of Super Sikh’s identity. The creators stress that in order for Sikhs to be fully accepted “changing the genre of the turban as only reserved for villains must change!”

The character was inspired by Manchanda’s background. Born in India, Manchanda grew up in Africa and moved to the United States for further studies. The creators deliberately didn’t give their superhero Deep Singh any superpowers. “It is very easy to have mystical powers but what that doesn’t do for a lot of children is that while you can pretend to be somebody, it doesn’t give you someone that you can aspire to become. Because being alien or having superpowers is so out of reach where as Deep Singh uses his guile, his imagination and his training to fight the bad guys and is an embodiment of good Sikh values.”

Cover © Surpreet Singh Manchanda

The Cover © Surpreet Singh Manchanda

Manchanda further adds that Deep Singh exemplifies not only Sikh values but also modern human values. “Our hero is not a misogynist, he is not a bigot, he is not a racist and he is very comfortable with strong, highly educated powerful women.” In the first book, the first scene shows Deep Singh fighting Taliban insurgents in Pakistan who are trying to burn down a girl’s school. Singh derives his strength through meditation and by chanting the Punjabi term Waheguru which means ‘Wonderful teacher’ and refers to the Sikh salutation. Singh fights injustice and lives a life of truth.

After the enormous success of Super Sikh, the creators are now working on another series that focuses on a girl- Gurpreet Kaur who plays the character of Deep Singh’s cousin in the Super Sikh series will have an entire story revolving around her in the coming edition. Kaur is a scientist and a gadget guru and the creators are hoping to give their readers another role model that they can aspire to be.

Author: Roma Rajpal-Weiß

Editor: Marjory Linardy



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20.10.2015 | 11:56