‘MSG-2: The Messenger’, the movie sequel starring Sirsabased Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was released in nearly 100 cinema halls across Haryana on Friday.
Dera spokesperson Pawan Insan told HT over phone from Mumbai that out of 143 film screens in Haryana, MSG-2 was screened in about 100 theatres across all the 21 districts in the state. “Not even a single theatre management has cancelled or postponed the show. It is a smooth event where the devotees and others are watching the film without opposition from any quarter,” he said.
Insan, who was in Mumbai for the film promotion, claimed that in view of tremendous pre-release response to MSG-2, multiplex managements had delayed screening of a Hindi film that was scheduled to be released on Friday. Reports said that the dera followers, including women, were present in a large numbers. Devotees appreciated the film for carrying a positive social message.
There was no report of any opposition by any community against the screening in Karnal and adjoining districts.
Dera follower Jagdeep Insan, who watched the first show in Karnal, said that the MSG-2 dealt with the theme of bringing the tribals in the mainstream.
“I was delighted to notice that the audience included even those who are not associated with the dera. Like the previous MSG, the sequel is focused on social inclusiveness,” he said.
Bala, who had come to watch the movie with her relatives, said that the devotees were excited for the film. “Baba Ji promotes girl education and opposes drug abuse. Our entire group had watched previous film and have high expectations from the film,” she said. Baljeet Insan, another devotee from Ladwa in Kurukshetra, said that such films should be promoted for carrying powerful messages.
“It has become common for filmmakers to use abuses, nudity and meaningless dialogues in the name of entertainment. But here the dera head appeals against social evils of drugs and alcohol abuse and other relevant issues. A section of the society had opposed the previous film due to pure political reasons which was unfortunate,” he said.
When the MSG was released in January this year, various Sikh organisaitons and political parties had opposed the movie.
The Indian National Lok Dal and some non-political organisations had staged demonstrations and film shows were affected in various theaters of Haryana.
Letter banning MSG-2 stands withdrawn, Punjab tells HC
Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Friday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the letter banning screening of ‘MSG-2: The Messenger’, featuring Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim had been withdrawn.
The Punjab government counsel told the high court bench of justice Paramjeet Singh that the letter written on September 1 had been withdrawn.
He maintained that it was not issued by the deputy commissioner, Mansa. Following this, the high court bench dismissed the petition filed by the producer company, Hakikat Entertainment Private Limited, challenging the decision as the petitioner stated that it did not want to press the matter further. The high court on Thursday had given Punjab a day to file its response.
The producer company, in the petition, had argued that whether the movie was fit for public viewing or not was decided by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), and if the movie had been cleared by CBFC, its screening could not be banned. Mansa district administration banned the screening even as the film was yet to be released.
Ram Rahim’s earlier movie, The Messenger, could not be screened in Punjab as the government had banned it.