Newspaper article International New York Times

India Bans Film on Gandhi Assassination ; Critics Said the Movie Put the Premier's Killers in a Romanticized Light

Newspaper article International New York Times

India Bans Film on Gandhi Assassination ; Critics Said the Movie Put the Premier's Killers in a Romanticized Light

Article excerpt

The movie, which depicts the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was bamed on the grounds that it could incite religious tensions.

A government body has blocked the release of a film dramatizing the assassination in 1984 of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which had been scheduled for release Friday, on the grounds that it could incite religious tensions.

Critics said the Punjabi-language film, "Kaum De Heere," depicted Mrs. Gandhi's killers in a favorable or even romanticized light. Mrs. Gandhi was gunned down by two of her own bodyguards, who were Sikh; the assassination was followed by riots throughout India in which thousands of Sikhs were killed.

The Central Board of Film Certification, whose approval is required before any film can be shown in Indian theaters, had originally cleared "Kaum De Heere" for release but reversed its decision on Thursday. That reversal came after the Home Ministry called the film "highly objectionable," according to a report by the Press Trust of India.

"The problem lies in the fact that it eulogizes things it shouldn't," Leela Samson, chairwoman of the Central Board of Film Certification, said of the film on Friday. "Like taking the law into your own hands." She added that the film "puts a community or religious group above the interests of the nation." State leaders of two major Indian parties, the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, had demanded that the film be banned, according to news reports.

Mrs. Gandhi was killed on Oct. 31, 1984, more than four months after she ordered the Indian Army to raid a shrine in the Golden Temple complex in the Punjabi city of Amritsar, which had been taken over by Sikh separatists. Hundreds died in the siege, which turned the space in front of the shrine into a "killing ground," according to one Indian Army general.

One of the bodyguards who shot Mrs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.