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Jo Bole So Nihal - The Movie

Jun 1, 2004
Share your views about this movie.

The following letter was sent to the Central Board of Film Certification and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India by Prof. Jagmohan Singh, General Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) on May 7. The Panthic body has appealed to the Sikh people all over the world to hold protest demonstrations on 11th May 2005 to mark their discontent with the film.

Ms. Sharmila Tagore
Central Board of Film Certification
Bharat Bhavan,
91-E, Walkeshwar Road,
Mumbai - 400 006
Dear Madam:

I write to you to express concern regarding the film, "Jo Bole So Nihal". As you may be aware, Sikhs all over the country are agitated over the contents of the movie and the gross, negligent and deliberate misuse of the Sikh war cry and greeting, "Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!" .

A large number of Sikh organisations, from all over the world, have protested the contents of the movie as well as the use of the Sikh slogan as the title of the movie. The producers and directors of the movie have shown scant regard for the sentiments of the Sikh people.

The promos of the movie, as seen on many Satelllite TV channels do not leave much to the imagination of the film goer. Scantily clad actresses intermixed with the use of a Sikh slogan is just not acceptable. I do not need to point out to you what you and the members of the Censor Board have already seen.

We strongly believe that the Central Board of Film Certification, popularly known as the Censor Board has not applied its mind while certifying this movie. This movie violates the guidelines of the Censor Board as well as judgments of the Supreme Court of India.

The guidelines issued under Section 5B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 are very clear. This section says that ' a film shall not be certified for public exhibition, if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the States, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence."

I would like to inform you that this film will incite the Sikhs to react violently when the movie is released anywhere in India or anywhere in the world for that matter.The Sikhs may be small in numbers but they are a proud people and any interference or jugglery of their religious sentiments by any person, by word or movie, will not tolerated. We love and respect our religion and any misrepresentation of the same is sacriligeous and will be dealt with as such.

If Bollywood has chosen to debase society, it is welcome to go to any depths, but as far as the Sikh people are concerned, we have had enough. Bollywood has been tampering with the Sikh image through word and image for a long time. It is now time to stop this nauseating trend. If having a Sikh prime minister in India has not changed the mindset of the Indian filmmaker, then he/she will have to face the ire of the Sikh people.

No film, which has religious content of any kind, should be certified till it is seen by a member's of that community. In fact any movie having religious content should be send to Sikh religious bodies for prior approval. I have personal knowledge of the fact that Principal Raghbir Singh of Khalsa College, Mumbai used to be a member of the Censor Board of Film Certification in the late seventies and early eighties of the last century. He had personally told me, then, that his presence had ensured that anti-Sikh portions of movies were deleted when pointed out during the pre-release screening sessions. I also have personal knowledge of the fact that in the seventies, a film made on the life of Guru Nanak had to be canned as the film maker crossed all limits and portrayed Guru Nanak through a film actor. This is not public knowledge because the film maker was wise and he quietly withdrew the film when he and the Censor Board were told that this is not acceptable to the Sikhs at all.

It would be naive for the Censor Board to hide behind the curtain of law and say that exhibition of the movie is a state subject. The exhibiton of the movie may be a state subject, but its certification is the prime responsibility of the Censor Board. In this case, the Censor Board has to act with godspeed. The film is slated for release on 13th May, 2005 and believe me, it will lead to mayhem wherever it is released. This movie must be canned and then everybody who has participated in this venture to denigrate the Sikhs will be hauled before the law of the land. We will not take it lying down.

We have appealed to the Sikh people all over the world to hold protest demonstrations on 11th May 2005. In Panjab and the rest of India, Sikhs will denounce the Information and broadcasting ministry for its utter negligence and will burn the posters of the movie as well as symbolically burn the effigy of the CBFC and the Information and Broadcasting ministry. We are also urging the distributors of the movie to keep away from the movie.

I urge you to take immediate steps to stop the release of the movie, Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal. The Censor Board should immediately have a member each from all the ethnic minorities so that henceforth nobody plays with our sentiments.

I once again implore you to take immediate action. Any further annoyance of the Sikh people will be detrimental to peace and tranquility in the region and the Censor Board would be seen as a conspirator alongwith the government of India. The ball is in your court and of the government of India.

Thank you.


Prof. Jagmohan Singh
General Secretary
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar)

07 May 2005

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
I have not yet seen this movie ( i am not sure i "want" to...hmm )
but i also read in the Tribune that the Akal Takhat jathedar through a SGPC Committee has "passed" it as OK for Sikhs to view !!

I am surprised at the unseemly haste of this approval....surely something is not right...our jathedars normally dont move so i missing something ??

Also this is a first in the Akal takhat approving movies...ususally it takes YEARS for any action...times are certainly changing..

Jarnail Singh

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