The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) announced on Thursday evening that upcoming Hindi movie Nanak Shah Fakir does not have its backing. The decision comes a day after it issued a statement backing the movie’s release.
However, producer of the movie Harinder Sikka told The Indian Express that he had no intimation about the SGPC’s latest decision. He claimed that the apex Sikh body had earlier given him a written approval to release the movie.
SGPC spokesperson Daljit Singh Bedi said, “Movie Nanak Shah Fakir will not be released until we resolve all the issues raised by sangat over the movie. Respecting sentiments of Sikh sangat, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has revoked all the earlier letters issued related to the movie. Permission to movie was granted by then SGPC secretary Harcharan Singh. But now many objections have been raised by Sikh sangat after movie promo was launched on the television.”
He added, “We have received emails in large numbers which are demanding ban on the movie. Next decision on the movie will be taken after consulting with the sangat. SGPC has always represented the sentiments of Sikhs and it will continue to do so.”
Sikka, however, said, “Just yesterday SGPC had issued a statement that it will not be wise to question the movie without watching it. It had supported the movie in statement issued on Wednesday. I have been given no official information that SGPC has any objection over the movie. SGPC has worked with me for around one year to make the required changes in movie. Then they gave me written approval to release the movie. It was not only that. Earlier this month, SGPC wrote two letters to its education institutions and gurdwaras. In first letters SGPC institutions were suggested to arrange for all the students studying to watch this movie. Second letter was for the gurdwaras that they should allow us to put up the movie posters for publicity. I don’t know why they have taken such a decision today. I have a censor certificate.”
The producer added, “I will talk to SGPC about it. But first of all I have to check if it is a rumor or this information is real.”
The movie is scheduled for April 13 release. Sikka had first planned to release movie in 2015, but he had to withdraw prints from theatres at last moment after huge opposition from the Sikh bodies.
It is interesting that the movie was cleared during the tenure of Avtar Singh Makkar. He was followed in office by Kirpal Singh Badungar. Both claim to have not watched the movie. Incumbent SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal too claims that he hasn’t seen the movie.