Freedom of Expression

Protests and disruption shut down Nanak Shah Fakir

The actions of Sikh protestors have led to UK cinemas cancelling screenings of this Indian film, a biopic about the founder of Sikhism.  Such representations of Guru Nanak are forbidden in Sikhism.  The film has been banned in parts of India, and is now being withdrawn so that it can be revised in order to conform with protestors’ demands.

In Wolverhampton, where the disruption occurred, many were angered that the protestors had prevented the film being shown:

Some cinema goers were left frightened by the episode. One man, who asked not to be named, said he was among dozens of customers asked to leave the multiplex when the commotion ensued.

He said: “It was extremely intimidating. For a group of people to be able to get a film stopped and then banned is just ridiculous.

“It’s an attack on freedom of speech. The atmosphere was quite aggressive in there and it’s not what you expect to face when you go and watch a film.”

Readers will probably remember that the play Bezhti also had to be withdrawn following Sikh protests back in 2004.