The Censor Board has cleared Messenger of God, the controversial film by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the self-styled spiritual guru and chief of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda. The film is expected to hit the screens on February 13, 2015.
Earlier in the month, dancer Leela Samson, the then chief of Central Board of Film Certification, had resigned in protest against the clearance to the controversial film by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. She also accused the government of meddling in the functioning of the board.
Soon after, nine other members of the Censor Board followed Samson's footsteps and quit to protest what they described as the 'cavalier and dismissive manner' in which the government treated the board.
Government of Punjab too has decided to 'suspend screening' of the MSG. The 'breach of peace and threat to social harmony' has been cited as one of the core reasons to stop the screening of the movie in the state.
The formal decision was taken by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal himself after the proposal against screening of the film was mooted by the state home affairs department, government sources said.
In his defence, Ram Rahim has said that there is nothing objectionable in his movie, adding that there was not a 'single word against any religion, caste or community' in the film.
"The film will also not promote any superstition or obscurantism. I have never been in favour of any superstition. The movie is based on the real incidents," the Dera chief added.