In what could be termed as a gross abuse of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, as per reports, a Sikh petitioner Jasjeet Singh has registered an FIR against actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh alleging that his religious sentiments were hurt by the lyrics of the song ‘Pant Mein Gun’ of the film ‘Welcome to New York’ as it goes against the principles of Sikhism. The complainant suggests that Diljit Dosanjh should have respected the teachings of the community before singing the song.
Reportedly, the complaint/ petition has been filed in Amritsar and Mumbai and hearing will take place next month.
Talking to a leading website about his film roles and juggling between Hindi and Punjabi, Diljit said: ‘”Isn’t there a turbanator in every field? Sikhs are there in Navy, Army, the police force…there is no profession left where there is no sikh. So how can I have any such limitations? In the beginning when I started with music in Punjab and was keen on acting as well, people would dismiss me saying it wasn’t possible as no sikh had ever been seen as a Punjabi film hero and that I should be restricted to music. My first Punjabi film didn’t but I slowly started delivering hits, some of which even became top grossers. Later, people said that I won’t be successful in Bollywood because I wear a turban, but my turban helped me get films here.”
This is not the first time when the media industry has been targeted for hurting religious sentiments.
Few instances when religious sentiments were hurt:
- PK– Ajay Gautam vs Union of India– PIL seeking a restraint on the exhibition of the film “PK”, on the ground of the same hurting the religious sentiments of all the communities and mainly of Hindus and thereby violating the rights of Hindus under Articles 19(2) and 25 of the Constitution of India. Dismissed by Delhi High Court.
- Bajrangi Bhaijaan– Raj Kaluram Rathod Vs. Salman Salim Khan & Ors– PIL filed to hold that the scene where Salman Khan is dancing, wearing shoes on the sacred platform of deity Hanuman and hitting GULAL by legs in the song ‘Selfi Le Le Re’ of the film “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” as an intentional act, hurting religious sentiments of Hindus. PIL dismissed by the Bombay High Court.
- In another case Anil Pradhan vs Union of India, PIL was filed against the title of the film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ on the ground that it was objectionable as well as with respect to certain other scenes in the film.
- Singham– Dharmaprachar Sabha V/s. Union of India– PIL filed on the ground that the film ‘Singham Returns’ on the one hand shows one religion and its religious and spiritual practices, places and leaders in negative, demeaning and derogatory light and on the other hand glorifies another religion and its religious and spiritual practices, places and leaders; PIL dismissed by Delhi High Court.
- Ramleela– Rashttravadi Shiv Sena v/s Sanjay Leela Bhansali Films Pvt. Ltd & Ors– Petition filed on the grounds that the expression ‘Ramleela’ is understood by Hindus as enactment of the life and story of Lord Rama and that the film Ramleela had got nothing to do with the life of Lord Rama, but was filled with violence, sex and vulgarity and therefore was a deliberate attempt to hurt the religious sentiments/religious feelings of Hindus at large. Petition was dismissed by the Delhi High Court and subsequently appealed in the Supreme Court.
- Dhoni: M.S. Dhoni vs Yerraguntla Dhyamsundar & Anr– Supreme Court quashed a criminal case against Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a case related to hurting religious sentiments. The case was related to Dhoni being portrayed as Lord Vishnu on the cover of a magazine. The apex court observed that there was no deliberate or malicious intent on Dhoni’s part and no case had been made out. Supreme Court observed that it would be travesty of justice if Dhoni was prosecuted as he didn’t do anything with malicious intent. Concerned by the misuse of Section 295A of IPC, which provides up to three years’ jail term for hurting religious sentiments, the Supreme Court limited the applicability of the penal provision to deliberate and malicious acts rather than casual observations that are not driven by malicious intent.
- Police complaint against makers of Baahubali: The Conclusion for caste slur: Members of a group filed a police complaint against the makers of the magnum opus in Hyderabad for allegedly showing their community in a bad light and hurting their sentiments by using a caste slur. According to the reports, the members of the Arekatika Porata Samithi filed a complaint at the Banjara Hills police station in Hyderabad, alleging they were offended by a scene in which Kattappa says Katika Cheekati (in Telugu). The group has claimed that Katika is a caste slur and has insulted their community.
- ‘Behen Hogi Teri’ makers, arrested for ‘hurting religious sentiments’, finally released on bail: The director and producer of the film ‘Behen Hogi Teri’, who were arrested for ‘hurting religious sentiments’ for showing Rajkummar Rao dressed as Shiva sitting on a bike, were finally released on bail.
- Mumbai court summons Ram Gopal Varma for poking fun at Lord Ganesha: The Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Andheri has issued summons to filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) to appear before the court on August 8, 2017 for poking fun at Lord Ganesha on his Twitter account.
- Mersal- Police complaint filed against Vijay for hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’- Mersal was in the midst of a controversy after the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the removal of certain dialogues, which take a dig at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Digital India programme. A police complaint has been filed against Tamil actor Vijay for allegedly hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’ through the film.
- Kiku Sharda- Comedian Kiku Sharda was arrested for mimicking Gurmeet Ram Rahim on an award show on the grounds of hurting religious sentiments. He was later released on bail.
Image source: Here