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Takht bans film on Guru Nanak 

Amritsar: Akal Takht on Monday banned the release of ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’, a Hindi film based on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak.“Soon, a Sikh censor board will be established by Akal Takht to get film scripts approved. Representatives from the SGPC, the DSGMC, Sikh intelligentsia, Sant Samaj and the film fraternity will be among the panellists,” Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said. He appealed to the Sikh community to protest peacefully against the film, scheduled to be released on April 13.The move comes over three years after Giani Gurbachan Singh had issued a “congratulatory” letter to ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ producer Harinder Singh Sikka, terming the movie a praiseworthy step for the promotion of the Sikh faith.The film has been mired in controversy over the portrayal of the Guru in a “living form”, even as computer graphics have been used for the purpose in the revised version. The parallel clergy had on Sunday issued an “edict” against the movie.Sikka stated that after getting the go-ahead from Akal Takht and obtaining approval from the SGPC, the film’s distribution rights had been sold. “Now, it’s beyond my control to withdraw it. I fail to understand the compulsions under which the SGPC and Akal Takht changed their decisions. I have pumped in my life’s savings to make this film on a no-profit basis,” he said.Endorsing the film, the SGPC had said in a letter dated May 13, 2016, “After the film has been seen by the appointed committee of the SGPC, we have no objection in granting you permission for the release.”The issue was revived when Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar released the official trailer recently in the presence of former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur and makers of the film.The SGPC, which earlier defended its decision, formed a fresh sub-committee to review the film. SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal approached the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and the Punjab CM against the film’s release.Giani Gurbachan Singh said all letters issued by the SGPC regarding approval to the film stood null and void.Bathinda: Earlier in the day, members of Sikh groups held a protest outside the District Administrative Complex here, seeking a ban on the release of “Nanak Shah Fakir”. They also blocked the Bathinda-Mansa road for some time.Later, a delegation of Sikh leaders handed over a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Diprava Lakra. The protesters also sought registration of a case against the producer and director of the movie.Former Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh and leaders of the United Akali Dal and SAD (A) were present.

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