India bars film about Indira Gandhi's assassination
Filmmakers argue it is a 'balanced' account
Indian officials have blocked the release of a film about the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, fearing it could foster communal tension in Punjab and other northern states.
The Punjabi language film Kaum De Heere, or ‘Diamonds of a Community’, reportedly glorifies Gandhi's assassins, two Sikh men who were born in the northern Indian state. The movie had been scheduled for release on Friday.
“We have withdrawn the certificate of the film and barred it from release,” Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, told ucanews.com.
Samson said she reviewed the film on Thursday after a request from the federal Home Ministry.
“The title itself suggests that the film is glorifying the killers of Indira Gandhi. They did not kill an ordinary person but a prime minister,” she said.
Gandhi was assassinated by two of her own Sikh bodyguards in 1984 in what was seen as an act of vengeance for a military operation against separatists at Sikhism’s holiest shrine – the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
The assassination sparked communal violence during which more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in attacks across India.
Samson went on to clarify that the movie had not been banned, only barred from release. The makers of Kaum De Heere can still approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal to seek approval for release.
Meanwhile, the filmmakers have defended the movie, pointing out that it is an objective depiction of actual events.
“No religion or sect has been belittled in the film. It is completely a balanced movie,” said the film’s producer Pradeep Bansal.
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