Bollywood star Ajay Devgn here on Monday promised to remove portions of his upcoming movie, ‘Son of Sardaar’, considered objectionable by the Sikh community.
Devgn (43) landed here in the morning and showed promos of his movie to a panel of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and complainant Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, president of a faction of the All India Sikh Students Federation. Punjab information and public relations minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia was present at the meeting, during which the actor also narrated the film’s story and stressed that the film had no aim to hurt Sikh sentiments.
Regarding objections raised by Sikh organisations about a Lord Shiva tattoo on the Sikh protagonist’s chest and a couple of dialogues, the actor, who is shown as a turbaned Sikh in the movie, assured that whatever the SGPC found objectionable would be removed. The actor also promised that a print of the film would be sent to the SGPC before the release.
Addressing mediapersons, Devgn said, “The movie is about Sikhs. I am a Punjabi and hurting sentiments of Punjabis will mean hurting sentiments of my own family. I can never do that.”
“There were some promos on Youtube to which there were objections. Since I have great respect for the Sikh community, I have come here and shown them the promos and listened to their objections. I have promised to do the needful,” Devgn added.
He claimed that while making the film, great care was taken to ensure proper tying of the turban by the Sikh characters. "A person was flown about 20 times from Amritsar for the purpose," he added.
When asked whether a different movie print would be released for Punjab, the Bollywood star said, “The same print will be released across the world.”
Speaking on the occasion, Majithia said, “In view of the objections, leading actor Sanjay Dutt approached Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal and asked him to get the issue resolved. The deputy CM asked me to arrange a meeting between the SGPC and Devgn.”
“Devgn is a seasoned actor who belongs to Punjab. He has assured that he has the highest regard for Sikh sentiments and nothing objectionable will be exhibited in the movie,” Majithia added.
Later, SGPC member Rajinder Singh Mehta, who, along with three other committee members examined the promos and talked to the actor, said, “Since Devgn has assured us that no objectionable scene or dialogue will feature in the movie, we are satisfied.”
Mehta said a report of the meeting’s proceedings would be handed over to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, who would forward it to the Akal Takht.
Meanwhile, Peer Muhammad said, “There was an objection to a tattoo. Devgn has told us that he will replace it. There is also an objectionable joke, but we were told that the promo does not show the entire scene, which puts the joke in a different perspective.”
Peer Muhammad said he was satisfied as of now, adding that he would forward a report to the Akal Takht, which would take the final decision.
Peer Muhammad had submitted a complaint to the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh, about the “objectionable” scenes and dialogue in the upcoming movie and demanded suitable action.