Dr. Sidhu Test/Criteria

Dr. Sidhu Test/ Criteria is a measure of Sikh representation in media. It asks if a work of fiction that has a Sikh character in it follow these rules:

1. The Sikh character must have a full name which is not a stereotype such as Billu, Shanty, Golu etc.

2. The Sikh character must be there to progress story forward and not for comic relief at the expense of the Stereotyped 'Sikh Image'.

3. The Sikh character maintains the dignity of putting on a Dastaar(Turban) and is dressed culturally appropriately or must have a reason to inherit a characters quality due to creative reasons, other than to make people laugh.

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Where does this criteria come from?

The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel Rule is a simple test which names the following three criteria:

(1) it has to have at least two women in it, who

(2) who talk to each other, about

(3) something besides a man.

 

The test was popularized by Alison Bechdel's comic Dykes to Watch Out For, in a 1985 strip called The Rule. For a nice video introduction to the subject please check out The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies on feministfrequency.com.

If you need access to the raw data, check out the docs for the api.

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The test is named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

The rules now known as the Bechdel test first appeared in 1985 in Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. In a strip titled "The Rule", two women, who resemble the future characters Mo and Ginger, discuss seeing a film and one woman explains that she only goes to a movie if it satisfies the following requirements:

  1. The movie has to have at least two women in it,

  2. who talk to each other,

  3. about something other than a man.

The other woman acknowledges that the idea is pretty strict, but good. Not finding any films that meet their requirements, they go home together.

The test has also been referred to as the "Bechdel–Wallace test" (which Bechdel herself prefers), the "Bechdel rule", "Bechdel's law", or the "Mo Movie Measure". Bechdel credited the idea for the test to a friend and karate training partner, Liz Wallace, whose name appears in the marquee of the strip. She later wrote that she was pretty certain that Wallace was inspired by Virginia Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own.

Several variants of the test have been proposed—for example, that the two women must be named characters, or that there must be at least a total of 60 seconds of conversation. The test has also attracted academic interest from a computational analysis approach. In June 2018, the term "Bechdel test" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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A character in Dykes to Watch Out For explains the rules that later came to be known as the Bechdel test (1985).

With the rise of content consciousness among the consumers, we see a rise conscious thought put behind character development. 

In the recent years major studios have started to pay attention to Bechdel test in order to attract viewership. So a test that defines clear parameters for Sikh representation on screen can also have the same positive impact on the representation of Sikhs on the screen.

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Who is Dr. Sidhu?

Dr. Sikandar Partap Singh Sidhu (M.D) is a film maker based in Los Angeles. Sikandar graduated from the University of Southern California, ranked number 1 film school on the planet with Masters in Film & Tv.

Sikandar's research includes Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality at Sony Pictures, Culver City. He has been involved in new media and Virtual Production research at USC since 2015.

Sikandar is a published author at the age of 16 with a fictional book that is currently being optioned for a Narrative Series adaptation. He has written features, Tv series as well as directed shorts, commercials, Virtual reality productions as well as Augmented reality Installation experiences.

His research includes the comparisons of Counter culture movements in America (1965- 1977) and India (2005 - 2015) and how it impacted media creation. It further includes counter culture movements pf the next decade to predict the next wave of content creation and how it will effect the way we create franchise models and capitalize on merchandising.

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Dr. SIkandar Sidhu(M.D)

M.F.A University of Southern California.

Why is this test required?

As we see a rise in media creation with the sudden influx of SVOD platforms, we need an effective and simple to follow screening test. Due to the lack of any clear criteria currently the industry is operating in the dark.

With the research that was taught to us at the most prestigious film institute in the world, we want to create an easy to understand and follow set of guidelines.

If enforced properly this test should help fight the negative stereotyping of the 'Sikh Image' on the screen and it will give rise to new opportunities for Sikh talent both in front of and behind the camera. 

We need an ideological criteria that is simple enough to understand and implement as well as if fair to the culture it talks about. This is our first step towards repairing the decades long damage that has been done to the image for jokes and laughs.

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