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"A Film For Social Integrity Should Not Be Dragged Into Political Slugfest" Says Sartaj Pannu About Nanak Shah Fakir




By: Prakriti | April 14, 2018

With every passing day the protests against Nanak Shah Fakir's release are getting more and more stronger and every update from his film seems to be of much interest to people.

The movie is based on the life and teachings of the first Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji. The movie is directed by young Director Sartaj Singh Paanu. Though it had to be released in the year 2015 but got delayed because of a ban by SGPC and many other religious groups. This year, the movie got a green signal from the SGPC and the makers finally announced the release of this film. SGPC's support was even accredited in the trailer.

But since the day this film's trailer has rewalked the path of exciting cinegoers, nothing but protests have happened. The same SGPC which had passed the film are now seeking a bna on the film yet again. Even the Akal takht has banned the movie.

The most recent reports state that The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for blocking the release of film Nanak Shah Fakir. Though it is set for release on 13 April,the court will take up the matter on 16 April.

Amidst this chaos, we contacted the director of the movie and asked him, what his take on the agitation raised by the Akal Takht is. We also seeked answers to a few more things that crossed our mind. Here's what he had to say:

What do you have to say about the ban on your film by Sikh religious authorities?

I understand that Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Akal Takht have expressed concerns despite earlier having given the film a clean chit. Of course we understand that they have concerns. All I can say is that we have taken utmost care to ensure the ideals of Sikhism are not violated. And we can only appeal to the SGPC and Akal Takht that let the Sikhs, Punjabis, men, women of different religions, caste and demographies watch the film as Baba Nanak’s teachings are addressed to entire humanity. I strongly believe that Guru Nanak’s teachings are exactly what the world needs to be reminded of, today. In an age where communal tensions seem to be flaring in almost every corner of the world, we need to go back to basics and learn from Baba Nanak’s teachings. Nanak Shah Fakir Is the need of the hour, not the controversy. Nanak saheb’s doctrines of life and his philosophies can lead today's youth towards a more focused path leaving behind hypocrisy of caste based society where capitalism and politics run their writs. As the director of the movie, I can only appeal to the SGPC and the Akal Takht to show generosity and support us to release the movie. With thier support, we can show and spread in the world, Baba Nanak’s teachings.

The movie has been delayed for a couple of years and now when it was to release, there is another protest to ban it. How would the audience be affected by this protest which is happening every other day?

Yes, ban and the protest happening all around of course confuses the audiences. The apprehension can only fade away if they are allowed to watch the film. Until they watch the movie, they wouldn’t know what is that we are showing. Instead of all the protest, I personally think that we should encourage the audience to watch a movie like this, especially the children. I am sure that they would be startled by the facts shown in the movie. Children would learn a lot and on the other hand men and women would learn how Guru Nanak Dev ji thought about women and how he respected them.

The recent development by the Supreme court says that states must ensure that there is no opposition to the release of Nanak Shah Fakir, what do you have to say about this decision?

I am glad that the Honorable Supreme Court has given this decision. The movie has been delayed enough. I just have to say that a film for social integrity should not be dragged into political slugfest. We must promote a movie which would educate many and spread a word about our religion, and not make it a matter of religious controversy.

The movie has been into limelight since it was announced. But one thing that is confusing is that SGPC is now demanding a ban by appealing that the Sikh Gurus and their family members cannot be enacted by anyone but where was this ideology when they gave certifications and green signals to the film??

Tado film dekhi ni si kya dhang naal??



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