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CHANDIGARH: The Supreme Court decision lifting the ban on controversial film Sadda Haq relating to the Khalistani militancy period has come as a set up to the Punjab government which had taken the initiative to stop its screening.

Haryana and Delhi had followed suit. This also betrays the double standards of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Avtar Singh Makkar. The lifting of the ban virtually coincides with the inauguration of the Operation Bluestar memorial in the Golden Temple complex.

The Punjab government has banned this film on the logic that it could disturb piece in the state as some non-descript organisations protested. What was all the more objectionable was its promotional song ‘Baghi’ that equated Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Jagtar Singh Hawara with Guru Gobind Singh. This song was not part of the film and the producers have now withdrawn it from the Youtube.The ban has been imposed on the recommendations of an official committee that found this film objectionable.

Though sectarian, this film depicts the police excesses during that period. The police officials would not like that dark period to be exposed though it is in the common knowledge. The picture is said to be far from being artistic. But then one picture cannot cover all aspects of the situation. This vast subject can be explored by others. This is the second such attempt after ‘Maachis’ that was the first film dealing with Punjab militancy.The basic issue involved is the argument of the Punjab government about threat to peace. In case even a crude film can pose a threat to this peace, then this peace is too fragile. In other words, it is not peace but absence of political violence.

It is the responsibility of the rulers to ensure that the peace is durable and not so fragile.Following the initial objections from the Censor Board, it was the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee that had step in with Makkar constituting a seven member committee that found nothing objectionable with this film. It was the SGPC which intervened with the Censor Board in favour of the film. Makkar is on record praising this film.

However, he backtracked with the Punjab government decided to ban it. He later said that he had not seen the film himself.The film has been a hit overseas.Significantly, the same argument of threat to peace had been advanced against the construction of Operation Bluestar memorial on the Golden Temple complex. This memorial is only in the form of a gurdwara.

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Well the guy has done which no average Sikh ( mona or otherwise) has done. So please stop criticizing him for this. We need to support him

The Sant Samaj stated that they had over 30 members who were elected onto the SGPC as a result of supporting Akali Dal Badal. If correct then surely the 30 should come out in support of Sada Haq film

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Arvind Sharma 19 days ago

Being a Hindu, I have seen nothing against my feelings as a Hindu in this movie. Its all against the corrupt system and fake government in center and state. try to see the people behind the faces. its not about me as a hindu or you as a sikh, its all about us as humans. but i think thousands of movies like this can not replace people's thinking about choosing right person for them,

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Controversial Punjabi film, Sadda Haq, will be released in the region on May 10 after the Supreme Court lifted bans by various state governments on Friday evening, the producers announced here on Saturday. The film will open in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, UP, Chandigarh and Delhi.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said the state government will abide by the Supreme Court's decision. He added that if the release of the film led to any law and order problem, the state was committed to maintaining peace at all costs.

"The lifting of the ban is a big relief. This had been our request from the very beginning - we had asked the Punjab Government too to set up a committee of neutral members for the screening of the film and then decide accordingly. On the advice of our counsel, we moved the Supreme Court for a faster judgment, and this is a landmark judgment for any Indian film," producer Dinesh Sood said.

He was joined by film's actor-writer-co producer Kuljinder Singh Sidhu, Upwinder Sidhu, Nidhi Sidhu and Surinder Dhalla at a press conference held at Press Club.

Sood added that the apex court has directed the Central Board of Film Certification to give the film an A Certificate. "That's the only change we've been asked to follow and we would be happy if we get a U/A certificate. We will come to know about the certification on Monday," the producer said.

"According to the Supreme Court, the film should run and if there is any law and order situation, the state has to address it, not ban the film," Sood said.

In the meantime, the film, released worldwide on April 5, is breaking records. "We have crossed the record collection of two and half lakh pounds and dollars in UK and USA respectively," the film's producer stated.

Tags: Controversial Punjabi filmSadda HaqUpwinder SidhuNidhi Sidhu

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Sada Haq showing in Punjab and Chandigarh to full houses

Indian Express

Resonating beats of the dhol, energetic displays of bhangra, jubilant victory calls of 'waheguru ji ki khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh' - the first day's first show of the controversial Punjabi film Sadda Haq saw all these and a full house in theatres, starting with sold-out shows at Piccadilly Square in Sector 34.

After the ban imposed by the Punjab government on the film on April 5, the producers had moved the Supreme Court and made history by winning the petition. Also, for the first time, a Punjabi film has been given an A Certificate.

The film was re-released in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Chandigarh this Friday. Directed by Mandeep Benipal, the film stars Kuljinder Singh Sidhu, Gaurav Kakkar, Nidhi Sidhu, Dhriti Sharan, Parmod Moutho among others. Based on terrorism in the eighties and nineties in Punjab, Sadda Haq throws light on this 'dark period' of the state.

The story of Sadda Haq narrates the journey of terrorists Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh Rajoana, their jail break and the assassination of Chief Minister Beant Singh. However, it also tries to present the both sides of the coin - the 'terrorist's' point of view and the police's orders to 'wipe out terriorism at all costs'.

The story unfolds when a research student from Canada (Sharan) interviews the protagonist Kartar Singh (played by Sidhu) locked behind bars for her thesis. Through their conversations and flashbacks, the student tries to piece together the events and the reason they took place.

There are conflicting ideologies, for while Kartar speaks about police insensitivity, the lack of government's apathy and justice denied, the keepers of the system defend it with their 'call of duty' and 'how terrorists too vandalised and killed innocent families'. Overall, the film does not excel in the department of sharp editing or cinematography, but it makes up for it in music and story.

The major edit is pixellating the face of 'home minister of the state' in the film. The speech at the end too was re-shot, and changed to that of a more pro-active government that is for, by and of the people, and propounds freedom, democracy and equality.

Meanwhile, the controversy, the ban and the hype trailing the film has worked in its favour and acted as a major crowd puller.

Students, youngsters and families thronged the cinemas. A group of 20 boys from Mohali and Kharar made it for the first show. "We are a generation looking for answers, and our parents have been through this. I am happy that Punjabi cinema has got one film that is different, not a mindless romcom," say Omkar and Narinder Singh.

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Lovedeep Kaur Sidhu, Hindustan Times

May 11, 2013

First Published: 09:19 IST(11/5/2013)

Last Updated: 09:21 IST(11/5/2013)

The truth is out there

From the 1980s till early 1990s, Punjab was burning in the ashes of what has been recorded as its worst period of loss, tragedy and anarchy. Days seemed like endless nights as the colour of Punjabi soil took on a red hue after mixing with the blood of its own youth, heartlessly wrenching away the warmth of blanket of belongingness that roots provide.

For those who want to know all that had gone wrong and for those who feel the need to reprise this chapter of history to review the lessons learnt — Sadda Haq is a must watch.

The Punjabi film that was banned a day before its official release on April 5 saw the light of day in theatres across Punjab on Friday, where it opened to packed house inside and police vigil outside. Admirably, it was mostly students who were eager to relook at Punjab’s past from the point of view of the film’s makers.

Sadda Haq begins with the quest of Sharon Gill (played by Dhriti Saharan) to learn about the state’s dark days. Sharon is a student from Canada who is on a short visit to Punjab to research on the topic of her thesis for PhD – minorities at war. Cues lead her to a man named Kartar Singh Baaz, a former hockey player and now termed a ‘terrorist’, who is lodged in Tihar Jail, Delhi. Amidst thunderous applause by the audience, co-producer and lead actor Kuljinder Sidhu makes his entry on screen as Baaz, as he makes a court appearance. Henceforth begins a series of events that take the viewers into flashback as Baaz recalls his transformation from a simple village boy to a radical out to clean the system.

Director Mandeep Benipal is surefooted in his sense of timing and succeeds in striking a fine balance between the precarious past and present, as the story unfolds in the alley of conversation between Baaz and Sharon.

As a young student, Baaz makes the mistake of giving his AK 47-carrying cousin a lift on his scooter and gets spotted by a police informer in the guise of milkman. Baaz and his family’s lives turn a nightmare as the police, lent infinite power by the bosses, including DIG JPS Randhawa, unleashes its dread. With his father dead owing to police atrocity, Baaz is now a staunch enemy of the police force and the system. With no one to call his own, he joins a growing force of extremists who have decided to ‘snatch’ what belongs to the state, including its waters, which have been diverted to other states through the SYL canal.

On the run, Baaz takes up arms and sets out to take revenge, is caught and subjected to unspeakable third-degree torture by the police. But, by now he is man of steely resolve and unshakeable morale. There is reference to Randhawa’s men doing their dirty job without qualms, which includes destroying families, raping women and killing children – all in the name of swiping radicals off the face of Punjab. In the meanwhile, the terror and unjust actions of the police have managed to move some of its own men, including Zorawar Singh, who decide to support their own consciousness than the government.

By now, Baaz, along with like-minded radicals, successfully digs a tunnel and escapes prison to finish one final task — to assassinate the home minister responsible for ordering the police to do the dirty work. The filmmakers’ handling of the issue is objective, which includes the mention of some ‘radicals’ going astray and bringing shame to a students’ movement that was not meant to spread terror. Rishi Singh’s cinematography deserves credit, as does the quality of print. Music by Jatinder Shah, however little, makes for an appropriate background score. There are more new faces than old, whose work is equally credible, though Kuljinder Singh Sidhu undoubtedly scores over all others as Baaz – with an uncanny resemblance to the character of Balwant Singh Rajoana, prime accused convicted for the assassination of Beant Singh in 1995.

A chilling reminder of the consequences of clamping down on minorities, Sadda Haq slacks in the second half, only to rise to a goose bumps-inducing climax. For all those who believe mindless comedy is what Pollywood is worthy of, Sadda Haq makes a point like an accomplished lawyer.


© Copyright © 2013 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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