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From Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai to Nanak Shah Fakir: Films caught in the crosshairs of Sikh clergy

From Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai to Akshay Kumar’s Singh is Kinng, Punjabi and Bollywood flicks have courted controversy in the past and were banned or threatened to be banned by the Akal Takht or the SGPC for violating Sikh principles.

punjab Updated: Apr 14, 2018 11:03 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Nanak Shah Fakir,Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai,Akshay Kumar
Nanak Shah Fakir, FLying Jatt Son of Sardaar - all these movies courted controversy. (HT Photo)

Nanak Shah Fakir, a film on 1st Sikh master Guru Nanak, is at the centre of row for violating Sikh tenets. But it is not the first time that a movie has been caught in the crosshairs of the Sikh clergy.

HT draws up a list of some Punjabi and Bollywood flicks that have courted controversy in the past and were banned or threatened to be banned by the Akal Takht or the SGPC for violating Sikh principles.

Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai, 1969, Punjabi

Protagonist: Prithvi Raj Kapoor

Objection: Romanticism mixed with religious ethos

Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaoun , 1976, Punjabi

Protagonist: Wrestler Dara Singh

Objection: Despite being clean-shaven, Dara Singh becomes a Nihang, a status one can achieve only after being baptised.

Shabd, 2005, Hindi

Protagonist: Sanjay Dutt

Objection: The actors are seen making mockery of Sikhs

Jo bole So Nihal, 2005, Hindi

Protagonist: Sunny Deol

Objection: Use of a religious slogan ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’ as the title. The SGPC also objected to a scene in which a Sikh police officer is shown being chased by scantily-clad women.

Son of Sardar, 2012, Hindi

Protagonist: Ajay Devgn

Objection: Despite being shown as a Sikh, a tattoo of Lord Shiva is shown on his chest. He is also seen making remarks mocking Sikhs.

Singh is Kinng, 2008, Hindi

Protagonist: Akshay Kumar

Objection: The style of hero’s beard and obscenity

Singh is Bliing, 2015, Hindi

Protagonist: Akshay Kumar

Objection: A dialogue: “Punjab is famous for three things – the Golden Temple, liquor and meat”. A poster of the movie shows a bare-chested Akshay Kumar in the company of skimpily clad women when he is wearing a ‘kara’ with verses from Gurbani inscribed on it.

Flying Jatt, 2016, Hindi

Protagonist: Tiger Shroff

Objection: The superhero’s turban, attire, and ‘khanda’ were not appropriate. Amrita Singh, a Sikh who plays hero’s mother, is shown drinking.

Santa Banta Pvt Ltd, 2016, Hindi

Protagonist: Johnny Lever and Sanjay Mishra

Objection: Sikh community is projected in a defamatory and denigrating manner.

Once Upon A Time in Amritsar, 2016, Punjabi

Protagonist: Dilpreet Dhillon

Objection: The movie showed that three bombs planted at the Golden Temple were detected by two Sikh devotees who saved the temple. But the two were shot dead inside the shrine by policemen who mistook them as terrorists.

Jattu Engineer, 2017, Punjabi

Protagonist: Dera Sirsa’s controversial head Gurmeet Ram Rahim

Objections: SGPC termed the comical portrayal of a Sikh character by Ram Rahim as anti-Panthic

Super Singh, 2017, Punjabi

Protagonist: Diljit Dosanjh

Objection: Depiction of imaginary scenes about the Golden Temple and the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs. In one scene, a missile is seen heading towards the Golden Temple.

Bhai Jaita Jee, 2017, Punjabi

Protagonist: Gippy Grewal

Objection: Film was based on Bhai Jaita Ji, a Sikh general in Guru Gobind Singh’s army. SGPC was against the on-screen portrayal of the revered Sikh.

Singh Saab The Great, 2013, Hindi

Protagonist: Sunny Deol

Objection: Initially, the film was named as ‘Singh Sahib The Great’. The word ‘Sahib’ was used for the hero. The word is considered sacred and commonly used for jathedars

Nanak Shah Fakir, 2015/2018, Hindi, Punjabi

Objection: Depiction of the first Sikh master, Guru Nanak, and his sister Bebe Nanaki, in human forms.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 11:02 IST