CHENNAI: Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s film ‘MSG: Messenger of God’ met with mixed reactions from the Punjabi community in Chennai, even as the controversial sect head claimed that it had nothing to do with religion and was a message against social evils like alcoholism, drug menace and prostitution.
While in the city on Wednesday to promote his film made in six languages, Singh said that the decision of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to revoke the Censor Board’s order should be welcomed and not objected to.
His comments come in the wake of the then chairperson Leela Samson questioning the haste with which the film was cleared by the FCAT. She had questioned in a report that if FCAT were to certify the film, what was the necessity to have a board in place.
The film, which is likely to be released on January 28 or 30, failed to get a clearance from Central Board of Film Certification.
The controversy over the film snowballed as Leela Samson and seven other members of the board quit. However, according to Singh, Samson’s resignation has nothing to do with his film. “Initially she was against it. But my film has nothing to do with her resignation. She had put forth eight reasons and there was nothing about MSG,” he said.
He also denied allegations that he had approached the government to get it cleared, and maintained that it was done in a legal manner. “If the tribunal changes a decision of the Censor Board, then it must be welcomed and not objected to,” he said.
Claiming that there was nothing objectionable in his film, Singh said he was concerned that a film with a social message was not cleared by CBFC, while films showing vulgarity and violence received green light. They had deleted certain dialogues in the beginning as well as in the end of the film, he explained, but evaded queries on what contents were deleted.
Singh, who is dressed as a youth, punches baddies in the trailer and also features in hip hop and rap music, said that he chose cinema as a medium to reach the youth. “I started wearing Western outfit after youth urged me to wear it.”
Singh is also planning a sequel of MSG which is about tribals. He said most of the proceeds of the film would go into funding research on AIDS as well as treating Thalsemmia patients.
Meanwhile, the Sikh
community in Chennai are guarded in their response to the release of the film that has been banned in Punjab. While Deepak Dhawan, a committee member of Punjab Association, expressed reservations over the film saying that spirituality is not a glamour business, Harvinder Singh, a member of the association said that if the film was about addiction and prostitution, then they would welcome it. Secretary of the Punjab Association Ramesh Lamba said that it was too early to comment on it. “If it is about promoting healthy living then it should be
welcomed,” he added.
However, most of the community members said that it was too early to comment. “Until we see the film, we can’t comment on it,” they stated.