Cong up in arms against film 'glorifying' Indira killers

Cong up in arms against film 'glorifying' Indira killers

A film about to be released this Friday is courting controversy in Punjab for “glorifying” the assassins of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, amid threats by the state Congress, which has vowed to ensure that the screening of the flick is cancelled.

The Punjabi film, titled “Kaum De Heere (Diamonds of the Community)” is a biographical account of Satwant Singh, Beant Singh and Kehar Singh, the bodyguards of Indira Gandhi who fatally shot her at close range on October 31, 1984. The assassins have been declared martyrs by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.

The Punjab Youth Congress has threatened to launch state-wide protests if the screening of the film is not cancelled. The film has been approved by the Censor Board after initial hiccups.

Punjab Youth Congress president Vikramjit Singh Chaudhry has also written to Prime Minster Narendra Modi stating that there was profound anger among the people that a film glorifying Gandhi’s assassins and terrorism was being released in Punjab and other parts of the country.

Chaudhary warned that the government would be responsible for any law-and-order situation that might arise if the permission to screen the controversial film was not withdrawn.  Chaudhary also said the controversy generated by the film does not portend well for the hard-earned peace in Punjab, as it seeks to glorify, glamourise and revive terrorism in the state.

As the controversy threatens to disturb peace, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the home secretary for a report on the film.

Producer Satish Katyal said the film is based on true events, including the findings of the Justice Thakkar Commission. “The film does not aim at creating any controversy. Our only motive is to show the audience the actual chain of events. We can't change history, but we can learn from it for a safer future,” he said.

Katyal added that the film is an outcome of thorough research of legal records, published books and other material available in the public domain. “There is nothing fictitious in it,” he claimed.

The cast and producers of the film are heavily promoting it, organising events and conferences in the neighbouring state of Punjab as well as elsewhere.

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