Over 400 Artists Sign Letter Supporting Author of Controversial Sikh Play

December 23, 2004

Source: BBC News


On December 23, 2004 the BBC News reported, "More than 400 figures from the arts world have signed a letter supporting the playwright who prompted violent outbursts from the Sikh community.

Poet laureate Andrew Motion, director Richard Eyre and writer Willy Russell are among those to have written to the Guardian backing Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti.

'It is a legitimate function of art to provoke debate and sometimes to express controversial ideas,' they wrote.

The play Behzti caused outcry because of scenes of sex abuse inside a temple.

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre cancelled the play following unrest outside the venue, which resulted in several police officers being hurt.

Although plans were in progress to stage it elsewhere, Bhatti has requested that it not be revived following personal threats to her."