SGPC seeks ban on 'Nanak Shah Fakir', claims film violates Sikh tenets | punjab | Hindustan Times
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SGPC seeks ban on 'Nanak Shah Fakir', claims film violates Sikh tenets

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has sought a ban on the film, 'Nanak Shah Fakir', claiming that it violated Sikh tenets and norms by the portrayal of Guru Nanak and his family in human form in the film.

punjab Updated: Apr 08, 2015 17:52 IST
Amritsar
Cover-photo-of-Nanak-Shah-Fakir

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has sought a ban on the film, 'Nanak Shah Fakir', claiming that it violated Sikh tenets and norms by the portrayal of Guru Nanak and his family in human form in the film.

The decision to seek the ban from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was taken at SGPC executive committee meeting at Kalgidhar Niwas in Chandigarh on Tuesday. The committee also sought central government's help in ensuring that the film was not screened in any part of the country.

SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, who was present at the meeting, and a number of other executive members had recently been shown the movie by the producer at his residence in New Delhi. In a report presented to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, Bhaur had stated that the film violated Sikh tenets and that the human portrayal of Guru Nanak and of Bebe Nanaki (sister of the guru) was evident.

It was on the basis of this report that the executive meeting chaired by Makkar, unanimously decided to seek a ban.

The film 'Nanak Shah Fakir', produced by Harinder Sikka, has been in the eye of a storm since its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May last year then at Sikh Lens, Arts and Film Festival at California in November. The film deals with the life and times of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev, and is set for release on April 17.

Sikka had claimed that Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had given a clean chit to the film. However, the jathedar denied this, saying that he had only appreciated the project and that too before the movie was made. The Jathedar then went on record to say it was the SGPC that had to take a call on the film.

At Tuesday's meeting, the executive said. "Anyone who desires to make a Sikh dharmik (religious) film must first get its script approved by the SGPC. After the making of the film and prior to its release, the film must be shown to the SGPC for getting clearance and only then should it be released," a SGPC release said, while also demanding that two Sikhs be appointed to the CBFC.

Opposes govt interference in Hazur Sahib

The executive committee also took exception to the appointment of Tara Singh, a leader with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) background, as the president of Takht Sri Hazur Sahib Board at Nanded in Maharashtra by the state government.

"The president can only be appointed or elected from among the members of the board. An outsider cannot be appointed to the top post," the release added. The meeting also cleared the shipment of 170 'Swaroops' of the Guru Granth Sahib to Bangkok. These will be taken in containers and have been ordered by JS Uppal, a Sikh based in the Australian state of Victoria.

THE CONTROVERSY

"The film 'Nanak Shah Fakir', produced by Harinder Sikka, has been in the eye of a storm since its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May last year then at Sikh Lens, Arts and Film Festival at California in November.

"The film deals with the life and times of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev, and is set for release on April 17.

"SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, who was present at the meeting, and a number of other executive members had recently been shown the movie by the producer at his residence in New Delhi.

"In a report presented to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, Bhaur had stated that the film violated Sikh tenets and that the human portrayal of Guru Nanak and of Bebe Nanaki (sister of the guru) was evident.

"It was on the basis of this report that the executive meeting chaired by SGPC chairman Avtar Singh Makkar unanimously decided to seek a ban on the film on Tuesday.