Punjabi movie ‘glorifying’ slain gangster set for release, govt sits helpless
At a time when FIRs are being registered against singers crooning songs promoting gun culture, ‘Shooter’, a Punjabi movie allegedly glorifying dreaded gangster Sukha Kahlwan, is set to hit screens on February 21 with the state government sitting helpless and taking no action to stop its release.
Kahlwan, who used to describe himself as “sharpshooter”, was facing more than 20 cases, including those pertaining to murder, kidnapping and extortion, before he was gunned down by another gangster Vicky Gounder and his aides on January 22, 2015, while he was being brought back to Patiala jail after a court hearing in Jalandhar.
According to a senior official posted in Organised Crime Control Bureau (OCCU), a wing of Punjab Police that deals with gangsters, the film was originally named as ‘Sukha Kahlwan’ but after the Mohali police received a complaint in October 2019 about the movie glorifying the notorious gangster, one of the producers of the film, KV Dhillon, gave it in writing to the police that he will shelve his plan to go ahead with the movie.
WAS ORIGINALLY TITLED ‘SUKHA KAHLON’
Hindustan Times has the letter in its possession addressed by Dhillon to SSP Mohali in which he states, “I am working on a project on making a film on a renowned face of Punjab i.e. Sukha Kahlon and I am about to produce a Punjabi film based on his life events. Since you are of the opinion that the content of the film may hurt law and order situation, I am discontinuing the aforesaid film project titled Sukha Kahlon.”
However, the film is now being released with a different title and its protagonist has been named as ‘Sucha’, police officials privy to the matter claim.
In the movie’s trailer being aired on TV channels and social media platforms, the gangster’s character and even his attire has been shown similar to that of Kahlwan.
In the trailer, a youth in his 20s resembling ‘Sukha’ is seen opening fire at people and policemen and using abusive language. The role is played by debutant actor Jayy Randhawa.
TRAILER GETS 70 LAKH VIEWS ON YOUTUBE
The trailer has already got over 70 lakh views on YouTube.
A senior police official, who admitted that glorifying a gangster would surely have adverse impact on the mindset of the youth in Punjab, said the police cannot take any action against the upcoming movie.
“We cannot object to it as the producers have smartly changed the name of the gangster in the movie. However, it remains a fact that the film is purely based on Kahlwan’s character. Only the government can do something about it,” he said.
Punjab director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta was not available for his comments.
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who was recently asked a question on upcoming films on gangsters in Punjab, had said the censor board should look into such issues.
Social activist and Punjab and Haryana high court lawyer HC Arora, who had written a letter to the state government to ban ‘Shooter’, said such movies will only promote violence in the society.
“When you start glorifying violence, young generation starts taking it as a fact and a fashion statement. It will have very bad impact on our society,” said Arora.
This is not for the first time that a film on a gangster is coming up in Punjab. Two films glorifying the character of slain gangster Rupinder Gandhi were released in the past five years.