India bans film about Indira Gandhi assassination

By Daniel Levine,

An Indian government agency banned a new film about the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, fearing that the film’s Friday release would reignite religious tension.

The film is titled Kaum De Heere (Diamonds of the Community in English) and in the Punjabi language. Critics have said that the film gives a romanticized portrait of the two Sikh bodyguards who killed Gandhi, notes The New York Times. At the time of her death, violence against Sikhs began, leaving thousands dead.

With that in mind, the Central Board of Film Certification rescinded its approval of the film. According to the Press Trust of India, the Home Office found the film “highly objectionable” and feared that it might spark violence in Punjab and other northern states.

Producer Pardeep Bansal defended the film, saying that it is objective and based on the results of an investigation into Gandhi’s assassination. “It is a completely balanced film wherein no religion or sect has been belittled,” Bansal said recently. “Some people are unnecessarily trying to create a controversy without watching the movie.”

The film was written and directed by Ravinder Ravi, who hopes to appeal the decision to ban his film. His film actually depicted the 1989 hanging of one of the Sikh bodyguards who assassinated Gandhi. The other bodyguard was killed by police shortly after the assassination.

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