July 14, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: In a press release issued on Thursday (July 13) the makers of Punjabi film Toofan Singh starring Ranjit Bawa said that the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), India has yet again been refused clearance to the movie.
“The film was originally scheduled for release on July 15, 2016 but was postponed after the Indian censor board chairman refused clearance after the board was unable to reach a consensus”, the makers of the movie said in a statement.
“A subsequent Revising Committee refused certification citing that ‘the film depicts anti-national elements and glorifies the Khalistan movement’.”, the statement reads further. A tribunal decision in September 2016 paved the way for the fresh submission to the CBFC following legal inaccuracies.
The statement notes that “Toofan Singh” movie is based on the story of a young Sikh boy growing up in Punjab during the turbulent 1980’s. The story charters his pursuit for justice, survival and equality for all. Devastated by the deteriorating law and order situation, Toofan Singh is forced to fight against corruption, crime and brutality in order to protect society for one and all.
A spokesman of the producers of the film said that following the decision of the Indian Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) coupled with the demand from Indian audiences, Royal Cine Arts re-mastered the entire film to address all points raised by the CBFC. Despite full co-operation, a fresh submission to the CBFC on July 13, 2017 received an outright blanket refusal for clearance. A distinct message was communicated outlining that clearance would never be granted regardless of current or any future amendments.
The film is the directorial debut of Baghal Singh of Royal Cine Arts and stars renowned Punjabi singer Ranjit Bawa in a project which was his original acting debut. Speaking about the decision, Baghal Singh stated: “It is highly disappointing that the CBFC have refused clearance despite our full co-operation with all industry rules and regulations. Furthermore, they have made it clear that regardless of our efforts, clearance will never be granted. This clearly indicates that the system is highly prejudicial and is openly restricting freedom of expression. A great deal of research, effort and cost has gone into producing and ensuring a high quality and authentic film was produced. In light of the unprecedented response to the film trailer, it is unfortunate that Indian audiences will be unable to watch the film upon it’s international release date. Toofan Singh will still be released internationally on the 4th of August and we will continue to make every effort to challenge the CBFC.”
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