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Son of Sardar, Bollywood, Sikhs and the Controversies

November 13, 2012 | By

Jalandhar, Punjab (November 13, 2012): Controversy surrounding Ajay Devgn’s recent movie “Son of Sardar” seems to have settled in a way that could be termed as suitable to the situation, though the anger among certain Sikh circles is still visible.

Son of Sardar – Ajay Devgn’s masala-action-comedy that is also being termed as “comical saga of vendetta” has struck the cinemas across India today. Before the release the movie got verbal go ahead from Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), a statutory body whose prime task is to manage the affairs of Sikh Gurudwara but that enjoys authority to represent Sikhs in various other aspects also.

The settlement of controversy is termed as “suitable to the situation  because, it was achieved before the release of the movie and that too through mutual negotiations. Though all have not agreed to it. Sikhi Sidak and other organizations have called Sikh viewers to boycott the movie and certain court proceedings are still pending against Ajay Devgn in local courts.

It is notable that certain scenes and dialogues released in a promo of “Son of Sardar” had triggered the controversy because it gave an impression that the movie could tend to show Sikhs in bad light.

Ajay Devgn received the credit of taking initiative to travel to Amritsar to meet Sikh representatives. But this did not happen at initial stage when Sikh bodies had raised objections to the contents released in promo, rather Ajay Devgn

Ajay Devgan in and as "Son of Sardar" (Hindu god Shiva's tattoo on his chest has also attracted controversy)

Ajay Devgan in and as “Son of Sardar” (Hindu god Shiva’s tattoo on his chest has also attracted controversy)

responded to the concerns only after a Sikh lawyer, Advocate Navkiran Singh, sent him a legal notice asking him to respond to the matter or face legal proceedings.

This is not the first time that any Bollywood movie has invited the anger of the Sikhs. Jo Bole So Nihal, Shabad, Singh is Kingg have preceded “Son of Sardar” in this matter. There is a general impression that the Bollywood film makers don’t care about the rich Sikh traditions. They would shows Sikhs as subject of “jokes”, as taxi divers or people of low wisdom.

Makers of “Jo Bole So Nihal” had failed to listen to the Sikh voices. The film was run in various cinemas despite demonstration and protests by the Sikhs. Even police force was used and Sikhs were falsely booked under section 307 of IPC (attempt to murder) after the police cane-charged young protesters at Jalandhar.

All these events ended after tragic blasts that took place in a cinema house at Delhi where Jo Bole So Nihal was being screened. After the blasts the movie’s screening was stopped in Cinemas. Recently a Delhi court concluded the trial of persons charged for triggering these blasts and the court reportedly noted that the blasts were not triggered to harm any one, as was made out by the police and prosecution.

File Photo: Ajay Devgn addressing the press conference at Amritsar (September 03, 2012) .

Son of Sardar is released November 03, 2012 on the eve of Diwali a festival that is highly celebrated in India.

It is expected that the movie would not present anything that would be hurtful to Sikhs but many are of the view that the subject and style of movie reveal that it would not bring good taste for those who are sincere and sensitive towards Sikh identity.

It is worth mentioning here that the court proceedings initiated against Ajay Devgn concering the “Son of Sardar” controversy are still pending in the court of law and Ajay Devgn may be summoned in certain matters by the courts, in coming days.

Viewers consulted by Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) were of the view that Bollywood/Hindi film makers should not treat Sikhs as subjects of fun or jokes and should try avoid controversies on sensitive identity related issues.

“It’s a known fact that Sikhs do not believe in Hindu deities or gods/goddesses then why Ajay Devgn chose to show a Sikhs with a tattoo of Hindu god engraved on his chest” a viewer named Mandeep told SSN. “It was not something the absence of which would affect the movie adversely, rather it’s presence gave rise to an unnecessary controversy” he added.

“Movies are produced for entertainment purpose and should not be used as tools to promote a particular misconception against any community” Mandeep added.

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