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Dear Jacqueline Fernandez, What Were You Thinking?

Jacqueline Fernandez

Censor Reacts To The Holy  Kirpan Dangling Between Her Legs, Reiterates Need For Religious Specialists During Shooting

She can’t speak Hindi properly.But she’s getting there. Now Jacqueline Fernandez needs a crash course in Indian culture and How Not To Hurt Religious Sentiments.

Her latest gyrations in the song Sau tarah ke in Rohit Dhawan’s forthcoming Dhishoom has earned her the ire of  the Sikh community. The Gurdwaara Management Committee’s General Secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsahas objected strongly to the  “Beadbi(disrespect) of Kirpan, a pious symbol of Sikhism”

Mr Sirsa writes, “We asked Sh. Pehlaj(sic.)  Nihlani, the chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification, to instruct the removal of the video of a song titled “ishq ka marz” from the upcoming movie “Dishoom”. The song depicts a semi-clad actress, Ms. Jacqueline Fernandez, dancing with a Kirpan, one of the five compulsoryKakaars worn by a practising Sikh; dangling in front of her legs and supported by a cloth belt worn around the waist by the actress and thereby made the mockery of the sacredness and respect of the religious symbols ofKirpan.This act is hurting sentiments of Sikhs as we are already numerous complaints in this matter from various Sikh bodies. I request CBFC to instruct director to immediately remove all the trailers/videos of the aforesaid song uploaded at youtube.com or other websites; either delete the song from the movie or re-shoot its video sans the wearing of Kirpan supported by the actress and to instruct the director and cast of the movie to make public apology to the Sikh community for the deliberate insult done to a respectable Sikh religious symbol. If CBFC fails to take appropriate action in this context, DSGMC will be compelled to initiate criminal proceedings against the director and case of the ‘Dishoom’ as well as against the CBFC.”

Reacting swiftly and strongly to the objection raised by the Sikh organization Pahlaj Nihlani , the censorbaord’s chairperson says, “Would India’s new champions of freedom of expression who feel filmmakers must be allowed to show and say anything they like, have a  solution to this? In India religious sentiments are fragile and sensitive. They can easily get hurt and cause severe physical  hurt to people at large.And people whose religious sentiments are affected are far more vigilant than we at the CBFC can ever be.”

Nihalani recommends the presence of religious scholars and specialists when censoring films with sensitive religious content.

“But what to do when songs and dances violate cultural and religious codes? Filmmakers must also be sensitive.Why have the heroine unnecessarily wearing a  Kirpan around her waist?” asks Nihalani.

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