With Delhi High Court clearing Punjab movie Kaum De Heere for screening in India, Punjab government is adopting a wait and watch policy on whether to challenge the DHC direction or accept it. The Indian Express explains the controversy:
Why was Kaum de Heere banned for screening?
The movie is based on the life of assassins of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was killed by her body guards Satwant Singh, Kehar Singh and Beant Singh in 1983. When the movie was to be released in 2014, its screening was banned after the then Punjab Youth Congress president Vikramjit Chaudhary had protested and taken up the matter with Prime Minister’s Office. He had argued that the movie could lead to flaring up of communal violence in state and end up giving rise to a serious law and order issue.
What was the basis of his protest?
Chaudhary was a PYC president then. He is still a Congress leader, the political party of the slain PM. Her assassins were Sikhs and as 1984 riots took place after her assassination, tension, fear and anger had stalked Punjab. A few people had distributed sweets in Punjab after she was killed leading to tension between Sikhs and Hindus, two communities who otherwise live harmoniously in the state. Chaudhary had stated that the movie glorified the act of assassins as heroes and this would not be acceptable to many in the state.
After his letter, the Home Ministry had also expressed concerns about law and order in the state.
What is Punjab government planning to do?
The state government is not decided on its next move, even till two days after the Delhi High Court order. It is in a catch-22 situation. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is already known for his stand on freedom of expression and has voted against banning of movies in the past. But Kaum de Heere (gems of community) is about the assassins of former Congress PM. Since Punjab has a Congress led government, it would not look good on the party not to even raise a protest about the movie. Many in the party would like the movie on the slain PM barred from screening. Others are of the opinion that once it is screened, it shall pass. The government, it is learnt, is discussing the issue with senior party leaders and also experts.
Is Vikramjit Chaudhary going to take a stand?
Vikramjit Chaudhary is no more PYC president. He said he has spoken to a few party leaders. It is too early to say anything. But he still believes its screening can create problems.
He is planning to meet the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and consulting the legal team of the party.