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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Akshay Kumar plays safe in Patiala House

Hiren Kotwani, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 01, 2011
First Published: 14:18 IST(1/1/2011) | Last Updated: 17:43 IST(1/1/2011)

Two years ago, Singh Is Kinng got embroiled in a controversy because some leaders of the Sikh community reportedly objected to a few scenes, which according to them were derogatory to the religion, its customs and traditions.

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Although everything was sorted out after the three-member panel formed by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee cleared the movie, it seems Akshay Kumar decided to play it safe while portraying the role of a Sikh in his forthcoming film Patiala House. And that’s why his character was changed to a Mona Sardar (or Cut Surd) to keep controversies at bay. It is also learnt that a scene explaining the reason for the character cropping his hair in his childhood has been incorporated in the storyline.
 
Director Nikhil Advani had a different take on Kumar being a Mona Sikh in the movie. “During 1979-1981, when riots took place in South Hall, members of the Nationalist Party committed a lot of atrocities on the members of the Sikh community. All over the UK, the community was being prosecuted. And in fear, mothers resorted to do the unthinkable and cut the hair of their sons, lest they become victims of the
Akshayviolence against the Sikh community,” explains the filmmaker.

He goes on to say that this ‘unthinkable’ action resulted in most of the next generation of Sikhs in the UK growing up to be Mona Sardars. “So we have stuck to the events that transpired in history,” he says.

Advani also reveals that this involves a flashback scene in which Kumar’s mother cuts his hair, much to his father’s shock. The sequence plays with Kumar’s voiceover and it is this scene that sets the film in motion.

Emphasising that he didn’t wish to get into any controversy, Advani will be hosting trial runs of the film starting next week. “I’d like to hear people’s opinion to reaffirm that we’ve followed facts resulting from the incidents that happened in reality,” he concludes.

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