Deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal asked his opponents to stop spreading canards about a government ban on the release of a film which allegedly describes Punjabis as “kanjars” and its land as “banjar”.
“Whether to allow the film’s release or not is an issue between the producers and the Central Board of Film Certification. The Punjab government has nothing to do with it. It is for the censor board to see whether the film meets or violates the fundamental principles of balance between freedom of expression and deliberately or inadvertently blackening the face of a state, a community or faith on the other,” Sukhbir said in a statement on Thursday.
The deputy CM said he would not prejudge the issue before the film is out in the market. “We are in favour of anything that lends social, psychological or thematic support to our allout war against drugs. For all I know , the film in question may even be an attempt to correct the distorted picture of Punjab as drug haven painted by some opportunistic non-Punjabi persons, political parties and leaders who are using abusive language against the bravest and the most competent and patriotic people of Punjab. If so, we will welcome the movie and even support it and similar films aimed at image correction of Punjabis.
“It’s absurd even to suggest a governmental intervention at this stage. Neither chief minister Parkash Singh Badal nor I or anyone else at the political or administrative level has seen the film so far.” he said.