Amritsar, Punjab: A new Punjabi movie ” Sadda Haq”, a song which likens Sikhs’ tenth master Guru Gobind Singh and martyr Bhagat Singh to militant leaders Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Balwant Singh Rajoana, has been banned by the Punjab government on Thursday.
The song “Baghi” (the rebel) had drawn flak from various Hindu organizations in Punjab. The movie, which has already courted enough trouble over the controversial portrayal of terrorism in Punjab and was withheld by the censor board for over eight months, is to be released on April 5.
The ban was announced in a late evening official statement issued by the state government. “This step has been taken to maintain communal harmony in the state,” the statement said. The movie was screened at Punjab Bhawan by the film producers on Thursday evening, to get the approval from a team of IAS and IPS officers, comprising principal secretary to CM S K Sandhu, principal secretary (home) D S Bains, additional director general of police Hardeep Dhillon and chief secretary Rakesh Singh.
Two lines in the promotional song, sung by Jazzy B, talks about Guru Gobind Singh, freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in the same vein as Bhindranwale. Condemning the song, Shiv Sena ( Bal Thackeray) Amritsar district president Ajay Seth said the song and the movie were an attempt to revive terrorism in Punjab.
“You are glorifying terrorist (Rajoana) who has been convicted of murder and comparing militants to Sikh gurus and great martyrs like Bhagat Singh. It’s an attempt to bring back militancy to Punjab,” said Seth.
Although the song is not part of the movie, it has gone viral on YouTube and had more than 1,97,000 views till Thursday. When contacted, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “I have not heard the song but there is no doubt that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is the martyr of Sikh community and Rajoana is a living martyr.”
About the clubbing together of Guru Gobind Singh, Bhindranwale and Rajoana, Sikh radical organization Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said, “Giving or bestowing respect to a martyr is part of Sikh culture and tradition.” He added that the song had nothing to do with the film as it was not in the movie and people would not hear it in the theatres.
SGPC member Rajinder Singh Mehta, who was in the committee constituted by SGPC for viewing the movie before recommending the censor board to give its clearance, said, “The movie has nothing controversial in it and the song you are talking about is not in it. I have not heard it.”