Voices for imposing ban on Punjabi film ‘’Nanak Shah Fakir’ are growing louder day-by-day. SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a ban on the film, citing that the film was against tenets of the Sikh religion as it portrays Guru Nanak in the physical form.
Not only the SGPC, but some radical Sikhs and some students from the Punjabi University are singing the same tune. Not only this, recently a Ludhiana resident approached the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking a ban on the film.
This is not for the first time that a film has been banned in the state. We give you a list of films whose screening was stopped in Punjab for one reason or the other.
Haawein (2003): Set against the backdrop to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, this 2003 film portrays the story of a young man disillusioned after the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and becomes a terrorist. The film starring Babbu Mann was banned in Delhi and Punjab.
Da Vinci Code (2006): The then Capt Amarinder Singh government stopped the screening of the controversial film Da Vinci Code after the Christian community expressed strong resentment against the alleged objectionable contents of the movie.
Aarakshan (2011): The Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan starrer was banned in Punjab a day before its theatrical release. The Punjab government banned the film on fears that certain scenes and dialogues in the film could hurt the sentiments of some communities in the state. The makers then approached the Supreme Court which lifted the ban and the film was released in the state.
The film ran into troubled waters after the governments of Punjab, Haryana, UTs of Chandigarh and Delhi decided to ban the movie, a day before its scheduled release on April 5, as it reportedly glorified the Khalistan separatist movement. The actor-producer Kuljinder Sidhu moved the Supreme Court, which after watching the film lifted the ban.
Kaum De Heere (2014): Citing apprehensions of law and order problem, this 2014 film based on the lives of Indira Gandhi’s assassins was banned in Punjab. The Punjab units of Congress and BJP had demanded a ban on the film.
MSG the film (2015): Though voices in Punjab and Haryana were raised for banning the film since its official trailer was released, the film starring Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim ended up into real trouble when former chairperson of Censor Board Leela Samson resigned after the film was cleared by the Film Certificate Tribunal Appellate. Samson accused the information and broadcasting ministry of stifling her functioning by meddling in "every new film being released, big and small".
Following her same lines, nine board members also resigned within the next 24 hours. The Punjab government finally stopped the screening of the film on January 17 following fears it would lead to law and order situation in the state.