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“Sadda Haq” lands in Controversy

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Punjabi regional film ‘Sadda Haq’ lands in controversy after it was banned in Punjab hours before it was due to release. Punjab government, along with Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Chandigarh reportedly banned the film, expecting breach of peace situations, as the film reportedly glorifies terrorists in Punjab.

The latest development is that the Supreme Court has sought response from Delhi and Punjab governments and Union Territory of Chandigarh on a petition challenging the ban imposed by them on screening of the film. A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir have issued notice to the concerned governments and put the matter for hearing on April 16.

The film team led by film producers Kuljinder Sidhu and Dinesh, director Mandeep Singh and actor Gaurav Kakkar held a candle light procession and termed the ban on film as “unjustified” .

They contended that after the film censor board had cleared the movie, the states have no right to ban it. They also claimed that when the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the top sikh religious body, too had given a green signal to the movie, the state should not opt for ban.

On the other hand the government is of the opinion that ‘Sadda Haq’ is being seen as provocative due to a promotional song sung by Jazzy B where the “valour” of Khalistani movement leaders Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Balwant Singh Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara has been equated with that of Guru Gobind Singh, among others.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had refused to certify Sadda Haq, objecting to its content and delaying its scheduled release last October. But then, the team of Sadda Haq approached the SGPC, which took up the matter with the certification board strongly saying there was nothing objectionable in the film. The film was finally approved for release on April 5 after the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal gave a green signal.

Besides Punjab, the film has been banned in Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh too but has opened in Canada, the US, Britain and Australia.

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