SGPC forms new panel to review ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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SGPC forms new panel to review ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’

Controversy continues: Sub-committee not given a deadline to submit report; Longowal asks film’s producer not to use SGPC’s name in promo

punjab Updated: Apr 06, 2018 09:18 IST
Surjit Singh
Around a month ago, Sikka again announced the film’s release for April 13 and again Sikh circles started raising objections seeking a ban.
Around a month ago, Sikka again announced the film’s release for April 13 and again Sikh circles started raising objections seeking a ban.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) continued its flip flop on the issue of release of movie ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ on Thursday, and constituted another sub-committee to review the movie, a week before its slated release in Punjab.

This committee comprises SGPC executive members Gurtej Singh Dhadde; advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka; members Rajinder Singh Mehta; Bibi Kiranjot Kaur; Dharam Parchar wing member Ajaib Singh Abhiasi; Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa; SGPC additional secretary Sukhdev Singh and assistant secretary Simarjit Singh (coordinator). However, he did not give a time frame to the committee to submit the report.

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

Previous release stalled

The apex gurdwara body had constituted the first sub-committee of eight members in 2015 when the movie was to be released initially but its producer withdrew it after facing stiff opposition from Sikhs. At that time, the committee gave its clearance on May 13, 2016. Besides, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had also congratulated film’s producer Harinder Sikka for the initiative.

Re-release of movie

Around a month ago, Sikka again announced the film’s release for April 13 and again Sikh circles started raising objections seeking a ban. They reiterated that depiction of Sikh gurus and other historic Sikh figures in films is considered blasphemy.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said that despite the SGPC withdrawing its clearance and support to the movie, its name is still being used in the promo.

This time, the SGPC did not only give clearance, but also issued letters to gurdwara managers and the educational institutes run by it to facilitate the film’s promotion and screen it on their campuses. These letters had gone viral on social media and drew flak from various quarters. Initially, the SGPC defended itself by citing the go-ahead given by its sub-committee on March 28. Countering opposition, the SGPC said that the opposition was not justified unless the movie was watched.

However, the next day, the body took a u-turn it withdrew its support and clearance citing objections raised by Sikhs. Now, again it has constituted a sub-committee.

Notably, Rajinder Singh Mehta and Simarjit Singh were also part of the previous committee.

Giving information in this regard, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said that despite the SGPC withdrawing its clearance and support to the movie, its name is still being used in the promo. “As the clearance has been withdrawn, Sikka has no right to use SGPC’s name,” he said.

Writing a fresh letter to Sikka, Longowal asked the producer to not release the movie till the sub-committee gave its report.