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'Electronic media spreading rumours'

May 23, 2005 22:18 IST

Two explosions destroyed the peace in New Delhi on a busy Sunday evening, targetting two cinemas screening Sunny Deol's latest fare "Jo Bole So Nihal".

Director of the film Rahul Rawail is upset with the media and people for feeding rumours that the film is anti-Sikh.

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"I myself am Sikh and I will never hurt religious sentiments of my fellow Sikhs," said Rawail said speaking to News Editor (Entertainment) Syed Firdaus Ashraf.

"I feel it is a great tragedy that human life was lost and many injured for no reason when my film was running in Delhi theatres.

People are just spreading rumours about my film without even seeing it.

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They are saying that semi-clad girls are dancing with Sunny Deol. How can I do this? Don't I know what to portray and what not to portray in my film? I am a Sikh myself and I know what has to be shown when I am dealing with such a subject. The central character of my film is a Sikh and if I demean my character there will be no bigger fool than me.

I had taken all precautions to ensure that Sikh sentiments are not hurt.

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The censors cleared my film and I don't think anyone else now has the right to protest about my film. It is very unfortunate that people are protesting. The film has been cleared by the due legal process and we have mentioned that it is not a religious film.

Today millions in our country know the meaning of the phrase Jo Bole So Nihal only because of this film. I wanted the people of our country to know the meaning of this religious call and this name was my first choice for the film. It was a war cry and it is totally justified in the film.

Blast rock Delhi cinemas

However, it is very unfortunate that people lost their lives.

It is also unfortunate is that theatre owners are withdrawing the film. I think it is wrong. My film has not been banned by any government organisation. Still some theatre owners withdrew the film, resulting in losses. Collections have been badly affected because of the controversy.

The electronic media is to be blamed, because they immediately flashed the news that the blast happened in theatres because of the film.

Two hours after the blasts occurred, Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul told the media that the blasts were not due to the screening of the film.

However the damage was already done and everybody started blaming the film.

Investigations have not yet been completed and already the film was declared guilty by the media. I think they should have acted responsibly in such a situation.

Another salvo came from the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, who said only Sikhs should play Sikh roles in Hindi films. I feel it is very unfortunate statement.

If people start demanding such things, then in future it will be difficult to make films. A Muslim won't be able to play a role of Hindu character or a Hindu won't be able to play a Christian character. So far our film industry has not been touched by religious animosity and caste discrimination.

The film industry has so far remained above religious animosity and I feel if we start applying such rules it will be difficult to make films in future."

Read review of Jo Bole So Nihal

Syed Firdaus Ashraf