Row over Nanak Shah Fakir: SGPC writes to PM Modi for ban on movie as producer remains adamant | punjab | amritsar | Hindustan Times
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Row over Nanak Shah Fakir: SGPC writes to PM Modi for ban on movie as producer remains adamant

Longowal writes to PM, home minister, I&B minister and CM not to allow re-release of the movie as it will hurt Sikh sentiments.

punjab Updated: Apr 08, 2018 10:55 IST
Surjit Singh
The SGPC on Thursday constituted a sub-committee to review the movie over objections to depiction of the first Sikh guru and asked Sikka to appear before it on Saturday. But Sikka said he will not be able to attend, and added that he now would not be able to hold back the release.
The SGPC on Thursday constituted a sub-committee to review the movie over objections to depiction of the first Sikh guru and asked Sikka to appear before it on Saturday. But Sikka said he will not be able to attend, and added that he now would not be able to hold back the release.(File Photo)

As Harinder Sikka, producer of controversial movie “Nanak Shah Fakir” failed to appear before the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) panel, the apex gurdwara body on Saturday urged the Union and state governments to ban the screening of the movie, set to be rereleased on April 13.

The SGPC on Thursday constituted a sub-committee to review the movie over objections to depiction of the first Sikh guru and asked Sikka to appear before it on Saturday. But Sikka said he will not be able to attend, and added that he now would not be able to hold back the release.

WHAT SGPC IS OBJECTING TO
  • Portrayal of gurus, their family members in human form or graphics as it is violation of Sikh tenets
  • Voice of a living being while making bodily depiction of the gurus and other Sikh figures in movies
  • Nomenclature of the movie as words ‘Shah’ and ‘Fakir’ degrade the first guru

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister of information and broadcasting Smriti Irani and Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal sought a ban on the movie keeping in view Sikh sentiments. “If the movie is released, it may lead to law and order problem. So, this movie should be stopped from being released,” read the letter.

The Punjab government had banned the screening of the movie when it was first released in April 2015. The row has been escalating since then as the SGPC had first approved the movie and also directed its institutions to facilitate its promotion ahead of its re-release. But it backtracked after some organisations raised objections over the movie.

Sikhism prohibits bodily depiction of the gurus, though movie makers have underlined that the figure shown in the movie — as evident in the trailer — has not been given a human form beyond an outline created using special effects. The SGPC had constituted two committees earlier and then the latest one after sections of Sikh circles raised objections over clearance granted in 2016. Some organisations, primarily the hardliners, objected after letters issued by SGPC authorities to gurdwara managers and educational institutes to facilitate the film’s promotion and screen it on their campuses went viral on social media.

Initially, the SGPC defended itself by citing a go-ahead given by its sub-committee on March 28. It took a U-turn the next day.

HT Explainer: The unholy row over ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’