The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the release of the film Nanak Shah Fakir, based on the life of Guru Nanak Dev, saying the constitution protects the filmmakers to make a movie as long as it does not impinge on secularism.
Refusing to interfere with its last week’s order directing the states to ensure that no obstruction was caused in the release and screening of the film, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “As long as the film does not denigrate Sikhism and it only seeks to glorify Guru Nanak Dev we will not interfere…”
The order came on a plea by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) which contended that there could not be any portrayal of Sikh Gurus, their immediate family members and the Panj Payaras by any mortal beings.
Appearing for the Sikh body, senior counsel P.S. Patwalia referred to a 2003 resolution of the SGPC and reiterated that their cannot be any depiction of Sikh Gurus by any living being.
Earlier in an interview with indianexpress.com, producer Harinder Sikka said the movie will promote Sikhism and there is a need to tell such stories. “You should ask any 10 year old Sikh child any ten questions on basics of Sikhism. That child would not be able to answer your questions. How will you propagate message of Sikhism? There is need to tell the stories to world,” he said.
Nanak Shah Fakir has been produced by columnist and writer Harinder Sikka. It is touted as the first film on the life of Guru Nanak Dev. The film had first released in 2015 after much difficulty in getting a censor board clearance. It even received a green signal from the Akal Takht then.
Soon after its release in 2015, several Sikh bodies began to object to the film, the SGPC stepped in and demanded a ban.
With inputs from IANS