Now that India’s war against separatism has reached Canada, the repercussions are likely to be far reaching. The cancellation of Canadian rapper Shubh’s India concert was described by a well-placed source in the Indian administrative service as the “tip of the iceberg”.
Canada-India deadlock to affect two Diljit Dosanjh starrers?
Cultural events and content of films pertaining to Punjab and the Sikh community are likely to be scrutinized even more closely.
Diljit Dosanjh finds himself in more than one controversial film. Honey Trehan’s Ghallughara, the bio-pic on human-rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, and Imtiaz Ali’s Chamkila, based on the life of singer Amar Singh Chamkila who was slain at the age of 28, both featuring Dosanjh in the lead, are likely to undergo an even more rigorous scrutiny than they already have, and may not make it to the screen at all.
Trehan’s Ghallughara is the third film based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots featuring Diljit in the lead. Diljit did a moving film on the 1984 riots titled 1984. It was directed by Anurag Singh. Diljit is really proud of 1984.
While Diljit’s 1984 was set in rural Punjab, Jogi with Diljit in the title role, released on Netflix in September 2022. It was directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and was set in Delhi in the midst of the 1984 riots.
Although Netflix has the rights to stream Chamkila, hence technically exempted from censorship, the prominent streaming platform is likely to abstain from outing the film in the near future.
While announcing his participation in Chamkila, Diljit Dosanjh had said, “Playing Amar Singh Chamkila has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, and I am thrilled to be returning to Netflix with yet another exciting story. It has been a pleasure to work with Parineeti Chopra and the entire team that has worked extremely hard to bring this beautiful story to life. To be able to sing to (A R) Rahman sir’s exemplary music was a meditative experience and I hope I have been able to do justice to his vision. Thank you Imtiaz bhajee for believing in me for this role.”
A source close to the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) said that the issue of cinema on Punjab is no more a censorial concern. “It is now seen as a matter of national security,” said the source.
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