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CHANDIGARH(PTI): Films and books on Sikh religion may soon have to pass the test of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), which is planning to set up a ‘censor board’ for “moral policing” of the scripts.
The move comes against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s movie ‘MSG’ and many Bollywood movies in which actors have donned the turban like Ajay Devgn starrer ‘Son of Sardar’ and Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Singh is King’.
“We will soon set up Sikh Censor Board comprising historians and intelligentsia so that someone keen to make any film or write a book concerning Sikh religion first gets the script cleared to avoid consequences later,” Amritsar-based SGPC head Avtar Singh Makkar told PTI.
Terming it as “moral policing” on part of SGPC, Makkar said the board members will clear the script of films or books based on Sikh religion and community members.
“Our idea is that Sikh religion is projected and exhibited in public domain in consonance with the spirit of code of conduct of the community,” he said. Though Makkar knows that there is no legal sanctity of such a board as already a body with the name of Censor Board for giving film certification is in the place in the country, he is confident that such a body will help prevent controversies.
The past has been witness to controversies by certain films prior to their release like ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’ of Punjab’s “macho man” Sunny Deol. A lot of heat was also generated over ‘Kaum De Heere’ and ‘Sadda Haq’, Punjabi films which were banned for being not in sync with ‘Rehat Maryada’ (code of conduct). A Hindi TV serial ‘Gurbani Ishq Da Kalma’ was is thick of controversy with Sikh bodies objecting to it.
SGPC had intervened and the name was changed to ‘Bani Ishq Da Kalma’ before being telecast on a private channel. The proposed board wants to ensure that the movies made in the future are in accordance with the Sikh ‘rehat maryada’ (code of conduct), said Makkar.
The board will have members including Sikh intellectuals and experts from various fields, including Sikh historians, film experts and lawyers, he said. Punjabi movie ‘Chaar Sahibzade’, an animated film depicting life of Sikh Gurus, has been a major success in the past.
“The entire film was made under the direct supervision of SGPC…so there was no controversy…the results are before you,” Makkar said.