Filmmakers must be sensitive to religious sentiments: Nihalani

Pahlaj-Nihalani(IANS) Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, who has been in the news for the “Udta Punjab” row, has now spoken out on the controversy regarding Jacqueline Fernandez’s “Dishoom” song. He says filmmakers must be sensitive to religious sentiments.

The Sikh community had reportedly complained regarding the use of a kirpan-like dagger as an accessory on Jacqueline’s short outfit in the song “Sau tarah ke”.

Reacting strongly to the objection, Nihalani, who has been drawing the ire of the filmmaking community, said: “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 (Central Board of Film Certification) can ever be,” he added.

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 cultures and religious codes? Filmmakers must also be sensitive, he said.

The complaint, penned by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, says that Jacqueline’s act makes a “mockery of the sacredness and respect of the religious symbols of kirpan”.

“Dishoom” producer Sajid Nadiadwala and lead actor Varun Dhawan have already clarified that the accessory used is not a kirpan but an Arabic sword.
By Subhash K. Jha

Medaram Jathara

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