Social media was abuzz on Monday after it was claimed by many international sympathisers of the ‘farmer protests’ in India that an ad in support of the protests was aired during the Super Bowl, a mega sporting event in the United States of America. The claims were only partially accurate but there is a lot more than what meets the eye here.
Here’s the Super Bowl ad featuring the Farmers Protest— Simran Jeet Singh (@simran) February 7, 2021
If you haven’t heard about it yet, now is the time to learn. It’s an issue of injustice that affects all of us. pic.twitter.com/a0WRjIAzqF
The immediate reaction from people on social media was that Super Bowl ads are extremely expensive. According to reports, a 32-second national ad cost $5.5 million. Therefore, how did the ‘protesters’ manage such a hefty amount?
As it turns out, it was not a national but a regional ad. And as such, cost only ten thousand dollars since it was aired only in the Fresco County area in California. According to reports, the ad was created by Indian-American Raj Sodhi-Layne with a couple of her friends and it was she who signed the contract for air time with CBS.
According to tweets by Sikh groups, the ad was aired on Channel 47 KSEE 24, in Fresno County, California, 3-3:30pm. It was aired prior to the game. She raised funds for the ad through an online funding campaign.
BREAKING: Watch message of support for farmers during this Super Bowl. We are hearing this Super Bowl Ad will air on Channel 47 KSEE 24, in Fresno County, California, 3-3:30pm.— UNITED SIKHS (@unitedsikhs) February 7, 2021
Donate to #supportfarmers: https://t.co/QCWMqQfJr3 pic.twitter.com/LKNhtkq1qY
It is the Facebook account of Raj Sodhi Layne, however, that reveals the dark underbelly of the people behind the ad. On her profile, she shared a news report that credited the ‘Valley Sikh Community’ for funding the expenses.
In the Facebook Post, it can be seen that she has set her location to ‘Sikh Institute Fresno’ (SIF). The news report she has cited quotes one Gurpreet Singh Mann of SIF as saying, “The three laws are really going to change agriculture in India. The way they have been practicing agriculture, the corporate world is really going to be coming to the small farmers”.
One thing that is clear is that Raj Sodhi Layne worked with SIF for the super bowl ad. The website of the group shows that it works in partnership with the Sikh Coalition in the USA. In a post dating back to 2015, Gurpreet Mann discusses posters that were made by the Sikh Coalition.
The said poster states, “Sikhism is a distinct, independent and monotheistic religion. It is not a branch or blend of any other faith.” Thus, the brand of Sikhism promoted by such groups appear consistent with that of Ashok Singh Garcha, who has earned the sobriquet of ‘Dharmo Semetic Garchos’.
The Sikh Coalition has also been listed by the SIF as a valid resource for legal aid for Sikh. As it turns out, the Sikh Coalition receives funds from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The OSF is an organisation of George Soros, who had earlier declared war on nationalists and nationalism, including Prime Minister Modi.
Its website states, “Most of the Sikh Coalition’s funding comes from generous individual donations within the community. The Sikh Coalition relies on your financial support to sustain its initiatives and broaden its services.”
“In addition, each year the Sikh Coalition proudly receives multiple competitive grants from private, non-Sikh foundations, including Open Society Foundations, the Proteus Fund, New York Foundation, and Emergent Fund,” it adds.
The SIF also lists the Jakara Movement as a ‘useful link’. Recently, Sangeet Toor, a journalist that was provided a platform by the Jakara Movement and given an air of credibility, spread fake news about ‘bombs being dropped at protest site’.
Furthermore, the Super Bowl ad in question featured a ‘farmers supporting song’ in the background which is titled ‘Dil-E’. The original video of the song is extremely problematic. At 2:06 into the video, Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is glorified.
Another point to note is that the theme of the ad is consistent with that of the music video. The video tries to draw an equivalence between the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA and the ad follows a similar theme with quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. Thus, it is abundantly clear that the Super Bowl ad plot was the work of individuals with extremely dubious ideological inclinations.
The Khalistani hands behind the international campaign was revealed when climate activist Greta Thunberg accidentally shared a toolkit that exposed the sinister agenda before quickly deleting it. Since then, Prime Minister Modi has also spoken about it and warned the country against its danger.