CHANDIGARH, April 10: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday clarified that, contrary to what was being stated in a section of the media, no orders banning the movie 'Nanak Shah Fakir' in Punjab had been issued by his government.
He said that it was decided not to intervene on the issue of the controversial movie 'Nanak Shah Fakir' in view of the film-makers’ reported decision not to release the movie in the state.
Any decision to ban on the movie had become unnecessary in view of the film-makers’ decision against releasing it in Punjab, he said.
The makers of the film, in their petition before the Supreme Court, had clearly stated that "looking at the sensitivity of the issue and the public sentiment involved”, they had decided "not to release the film in the state of Punjab for the time being.”
Taking cognizance of this submission, the Chief Minister, in a statement issued here, said no action was required on the part of the state government in the matter at present. The government would review the situation and take an appropriate decision if the same becomes necessary in the future, he added.
The Chief Minister made it clear that his government would take all possible steps, as and when deemed necessary, to ensure that there is no disruption of law and order in the state. Any attempt to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state would be dealt with an iron hand, he said.
Captain Amarinder Singh said he had also taken note of the Akal Takht decision with regard to the film. The Akali Takht had yesterday decided to ban the movie amid protests by several Sikh organisations, who had objected to the portrayal of Guru Nanak ji, saying any on-screen depiction of a Sikh Guru or his family members was against the tenets of Sikh religion. Projecting the Guru and his family as human beings was offensive to the principles of Sikhi, they said.
The Chief Minister was of the view that while authors, film-makers etc. had the creative freedom of expression, such freedom could not be allowed to violate the religious sensitivities of any community. At the same time, he appealed to the protesting Sikh organisations not to resort to violence or cause any damage to life and property to express their resentment against the movie.
The Akali Takht had yesterday decided to ban the movie amid protests by several Sikh organisations, who had objected to the portrayal of Guru Nanak ji, saying any on-screen depiction of a Sikh Guru or his family members was against the tenets of Sikh religion.
It maybe mentioned here that the Supreme Court today cleared the decks for an all-India release of the controversial movie 'Nanak Shah Fakir' on April 13.
The top court criticised the apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for putting restrictions on the release of the movie.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said once the statutory body like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has cleared the movie, no individual has the right to impede its release.
The bench asked all the states to maintain law and order and ensure smooth screening of the film.
The petitioner Harinder Sikka, a producer of the film, had approached the apex court seeking protection of the Fundamental Right of speech and expression and the propagation of religious views which, he alleged, was being curtailed by certain section of the people having vested interests in scuttling the release of the movie.
The CBFC had cleared the movie on March 28 but, Sikka claimed, he had received a communication on March 30 from SGPC asking him not to release the film.
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