Actor Raveena Tandon and filmmaker Farah Khan on Monday said they met and apologised to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Indian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of the Christian community during a comedy show, PTI reported. On Saturday, Khan, Tandon and comedian Bharti Singh were booked by the police in Punjab’s Ferozepur following a complaint.
This was the third complaint filed against the three.
Samson Brigade Christian Youths Chairperson Vijay Goria, and resident of Kamboj Nagar in Ferozepur, had registered the complaint against the celebrities. Goria claimed that the three had hurt religious sentiments of the Christian community when they mocked a word associated with the religion during the show. The three celebrities had appeared to make fun of the word “hallelujah” in the show Backbenchers.
On Monday, Khan said: “His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias met us. We apologised and asked him to forgive our mistake and he very graciously accepted our apology. He also issued a statement on our behalf to end this matter.”
In a tweet, Khan thanked Gracias for accepting their apologies. “To err is human to forgive divine,” she wrote.
Abraham Mathai, president of non-governmental organisation Indian Christian Voice, confirmed that Khan and Tandon had apologised to Gracias. “I appeal to the Christian community in this nation who have been enraged by this whole episode to accept their apology in the true spirit of Christ,” Mathai said in a statement.
Tandon and Khan had last week clarified that it was not their intention to insult anyone. The actor shared the original clip of the show on Twitter. “Please do watch this link,” she urged viewers on Thursday. “I haven’t said a word that can be interpreted as an insult to any religion. The three of us [Farah Khan, Bharti Singh and I] never intended to offend anyone, but in case we did, my most sincere apologies to those who were hurt.” The video has been taken down from YouTube.
“I respect all religions, and it would never be my intention to disrespect any,” tweeted Khan on Friday. “On behalf of the entire team, Raveena Tandon, Bharti Singh and myself...we do sincerely apologise.”