The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which manages Sikh places of worship in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh, has demanded that web series Grahan be banned as it portrays a Sikh character in an “objectionable manner”, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
The series, made by Disney+ Hotstar, is set in 1984 when riots broke out in New Delhi after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Mobs had attacked members of the Sikh community and torched their homes. Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone. The eight-episode series is set to release on Thursday.
“In the web series, the charge of Sikh genocide is being levelled against a Sikh character which is highly condemnable and fabricated,” said Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Bibi Jagir Kaur on Monday.
Kaur alleged that the web series was being used “to rub salt on the wounds of Sikhs which would hurt the Sikh sentiments”. She said that the show will affect the “communal harmony” in society. The committee chief asked the Centre to enact the new Information Technology rules to curb “such sensitive and objectionable trends.”
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee also demanded that the government should include Sikh representatives in the Central Board of Film Certification so that controversial scenes related to the community can be removed from any film, reported PTI. She also warned of legal action if the web series is released.
Kaur said that a witness of the riots, Nirpreet Kaur, has already sent a legal notice to the show’s producer Ajay G Rai and head of Disney+ Hotstar Sunil Ryan. “The SGPC also supports this notice,” she said.
The legal notice was sent for allegedly twisting the narrative of the riots in the show in a “deliberate” attempt to hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community, reported ANI. Nirpreet Kaur, Satnam Singh Gambhir and Jasmeet Singh, who sent the notice, have sought an apology from the makers of the show.
Some citizens also took to social media users to register their protest against the series. Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson said that the show “hurts Sikhs with its insensitivity & seems to be an attempt to protect influential people.”