There doesn't seem to be much hype in the Malwa belt over "MSG-2: The Messenger", a film starring Sirsa based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh that is set to be released on September 18.
The dera followers are keeping the release a low-key affair this time. Notably, the region had witnessed tension and also incidents of violence ahead of release of dera head's first movie "MSG: The Messenger" in January. Dera followers had at that time pulled out all stops to promote the film. The posters of the film were put up at several places in urban and rural areas. Dera followers were seen wearing T-shirts promoting the film. However, all these promotional activities are missing this time.
The dera, it appears, doesn't want to create much hype over the release keeping in view the sharp reaction it had generated amongst the Sikh hardliners last time. The dera head's first movie had also invited sharp criticism from Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who had demanded a ban on the film in Punjab. Due to mounting tension in the region, the Punjab government had banned the first movie.
"We have kept the release a low-key affair this time in Punjab as the heightened activity last time had generated sharp reaction resulting in a ban on the movie," said a dera follower.
However, neither any Sikh hardliner nor the Akal Takht Jathedar has opposed the movie so vehemently this time. However, there have been mild voices of opposition.
Meanwhile, thousands of dera followers from the region reportedly attended the premier in Gurgaon on Wednesday.
"We could not see the movie in theatres last time due to ban. But this time we will surely get to see it," said Naval, a dera follower here. Shirmani Akali Dal (Amritsar) district president Parminder Singh Balianwali said party chief Simranjit Singh Mann has termed the film an attempt to create rift between the two communities. "When his (dera head) first film was banned in Punjab, why the government is allowing release of his second movie," said Bailanwali. Sikh organisations and SAD (A) wouldn't allow screening of film in Punjab, he claimed.