After a ban in Punjab, the screening of the controversial film, Nanak Shah Fakir, was also banned in Chandigarh, hours before its release on Friday.
The reason behind the decision is being seen as the objections raised by some members of the local gurdwara parbandhak committee, saying that depiction of a Sikh guru was against the tenets of the religion.
Consequently, there were last-minute cancellations, leading to chaos among the prospective viewers, who had booked tickets in advance either online or from the multiplex ticket counters.
"It is not justified to ban the film at the last moment. I had booked the tickets on Thursday only. We have come especially from Ludhiana to watch it," said Sandeep Singh, who had come with his family to watch the movie at Elante.
Those who watched the film in neighbouring Panchkula were all praise for the movie, saying there was nothing objectionable in the film. "The film has nothing one can object to. It's a wonderful film. Everyone should watch it. It's a medium where people can know about Guru Nanak and his teachings. People should be open-minded about religious films and let the audience decide. I must appreciate the effort made by the makers," said a couple, Manpreet Kaur and Ajay Abbot, from Sector 45, Chandigarh, who watched the movie at Shalimar theatre in Panchkula.
There was huge disappointment among the people as some of them had come from different areas of Punjab including Ludhiana to watch the film in Chandigarh. Later, Some people rushed to the theatres falling in Haryana, especially Panchkula, where the movie was screened.
Nanak Shah Fakir is based on the life and teachings of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. This is for the first time that a film has been made on any of the Sikh gurus.
"Banning a film is not right. It's one of the ways for children to know the Sikh history. Chaar Sahibzade, too, was a nice film. I believe it's right to judge a movie only after watching it," said Simrat Kaur, 63, from London, who was on a visit to Chandigarh with her family.
"At least the film should be screened. How can we object to something we haven't seen? We should know why we shouldn't watch it. And why would someone invest to make film if it was against the beliefs of a whole community," said Palak Juneja, 21, a BCA third-year student from SD College, Chandigarh.
"We have read the history, and people should leave it on us to decide. My kids were interested in watching the film. Now, I will have to wait till the film releases in Chandigarh," said Gurpreet Sra, a resident of Sector 8, Chandigarh.
"There are many things we got to know about our religion. Calling it a controversial film is just hype. There is nothing in it that it should be banned," said Prabhjot, 21, a student from Ludhiana, who watched the film in Panchkula. Vinayak, 24, who was accompanying Prabhjot, said, "We came all the way from Ludhiana to watch this film. It's sad that we couldn't watch it in Punjab. People need to change their mindset about a religious film."