July 30, 2009 10:21:25 am
With his film Love Aaj Kal set to be released on Friday,actor Saif Ali Khan has apologised to the Sikh community. In a bid to clear the controversy regarding his portrayal of a Sikh in the film,the actor along with director Imtiaz Ali addressed the media at the Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara,Dadar,on Wednesday.
Khan apologised to the community via a letter to The Punjab Cultural and Heritage Board and also agreed to cut an objectionable scene from the movie. The members of The Punjab Cultural and Heritage board had requested to watch the movie 15 days ago to make sure that there was no wrong representation of the Sikh community in it. After watching the movie,they had three major issues: The length of Khans beard,a scene at a gurdwara and a joke about a sardar.
Khan,who is also the producer of the film along with Dinesh Vijan,was told to make immediate amendments be0ore releasing the movie. I completely understand and respect the problems they had. We dont want to hurt any sentiments and took the issues seriously, says the actor who plays a young Sikh in the film.
Khan personally wrote an apology letter,in which he promised that he will never make the mistake of representing the community in a wrong way again. Director Ali also cut 15 seconds of the film with which the board had an issue. It was a scene in a gurdwarawhere there was some romance between the hero and heroine. The gurudwara cannot be portrayed as a place where you can romance so we asked him to cut that scene, says Charan Singh Sapra,representative of The Punjab Cultural and Heritage Board.
There was a joke in which Khan starts off with there was once a sardar; this has now been changed to there was once a man.
The committee has given a go-ahead to the movie after the changes,but has warned film-makers that they will protest if anything on these lines is ever repeated. We had accepted a written apology from Akshay Kumar after Singh is Kinng and now we are doing the same from Saif. This is the last time we are agreeing with just an apology and will not tolerate anything like this again, says Sapra.
He adds that if anyone was planning a film representing the Sikh community,they will be more than happy to offer them free guidance so that the clothes,language and culture are shown correctly.
Khan is definitely a relieved producer and is very happy with the result of the film,even with the changes. My Sikh character is the most noble,cool and romantic Sikh there has ever been, he says confidently.
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