Sikh militants including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassins Beant Singh, Satwant Singh and their accomplice Kehar Singh are regarded as ‘saints’ and ‘martyrs’ by radical Sikhs.
They have a memorial built for them inside the Golden Temple complex, and command the same respect as the nation pays the late PM.
Besides music albums dedicated to the ‘martyrs’ and ‘saints’, some film producers with radical leanings have also focused their lens on controversial subjects like Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
After recent Punjabi films such as Sadda Haq, Punjab 1984 and 47 to 84, movie theatres in Punjab are now gearing up to screen another film based on a controversial subject on August 22.
Kaum De Heere (Gems of the community) has recently been cleared by the Censor Board with several cuts.
The movie has security agencies worried as the portrayal of Indira Gandhi’s assassins as heroes and its justification may spark protests. Media reports said the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned the Union Home Ministry about possible tensions between two communities (Hindu and Sikh).
Sources said that some Hindu organisations have already started protesting over the content of the film. The movie is based on the lives of Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, who were Gandhi’s bodyguards.
Producer Satish Katyal, however, claimed it is a family movie and has nothing which will create tension between the two communities.
“Kaum De Heere is not the only film which has been made on the life of Sikh community post Operation Blue Star. ‘Punjab 1984’ which was released a couple of months earlier was liked by all and the screenings remained peaceful. There are certain elements which are spreading rumours about the film,” he said.
“I have not shown the script to anybody nor does the movie have anything objectionable. It is a family movie and tells the story of the families of three people before and after the late prime minister was killed,” Katyal told Mail Today.
He said the film has already been released in other countries on March 14 and the response from the audience has been “positive”.
The movie has already been released in Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the US.
“We are releasing the film on 100 screens, mostly in Punjab. The film will also be screened in parts of Haryana besides New Delhi. Theatre owners are enthusiastic about the release,” Katyal said.
Kaum De Heere was first scheduled to be released on February 28, but the Censor Board had raised objections on the content and title of the film.
Though the Censor board agreed to retain the title and the story line, the producer was asked to delete some controversial dialogues. [source]