Harinder Singh Sikka, the producer of controversial movie “Nanak Shah Fakir”, on Tuesday announced to withdraw the movie from cinema halls across the country and globe. Sikka made the announcement after meeting Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh in Delhi.
Akal Takht chief was in Delhi on Tuesday after his return from Muscat and was scheduled to go to Bidar for a religious function. Sikka in a statement said the decision was taken while bowing before the supremacy of Akal Takht. He assured that required changes as suggested by Akal Takht chief would be made in the film before its re-release.
“The producer of movie has withdrawn the film and now an expert committee of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee would give its suggestions as to what all changes were needed in the film contents,” said Akal Takht chief, when contacted.
“The film has to adhere to Sikh maryada (code of conduct). SGPC expert committee would give its recommendations for required changes in the film to ensure that there is no violation of maryada. Only after that film could be cleared for released,” said SGPP president Avtar Singh Makkar.
Notably, various Sikh organisations have been up in arms against the movie, alleging that it violated the Sikh maryada by portraying Guru and family members in human form. Amid controversy, the movie was released on April 17.
Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh has already banned the screening of film following the controversy. The film was screened at Cannes Film Festival in May 2014 and in November same year at Sikh Lens, Arts and Film Festival in California and has sparked a controversy due to its alleged objectionable contents related to portrayal of Sikh guru and family.
Meanwhile, radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa in a statement said “Announcing the withdrawal of the movie and surrendering before the Akal Takht, the producer Harinder Singh Sikka has tried to save face and skin”.
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said “wisdom has dawned on the film-maker though a little too late”.
“He will have to repent and pay for hurting the sentiments of the Sikhs and not listening to umpteen calls of reason. This is also a lesson for the sleeping government and the film censor board that cleared the movie ignoring the blasphemous features of the said movie,” he said.
“Today producer Sikka has announced the withdrawal of the film after meeting Jathedar (Chief) of the Akal Takht. From the day first, we have been saying, shouting and urging that it is the Jathedar Akal Takht only who can direct the film-maker to withdraw the film. Why Jathedar Gaini Gurbachan Singh took so much time to finally act, only he can explain !” Kanwar Pal said.
Dal Khalsa had submitted a memorandum to Jathedar Akal Takht on April 6, urging him to direct the producer to withdraw the film. “The concluding lines of our letter to Jathedar,” Kanwar Pal said, were, “You have no choice. The community has no choice. The movie maker has no choice –Nanak Shah Fakir film has to be withdrawn”.