Mumbai: A 59-year-old Mumbai resident has filed a complaint before a court here against the makers of upcoming Bollywood film ‘Welcome to New York’, alleging that a song in it was “vulgar” and that it hurt the sentiments of a particular community.
The complainant, Harjeet Singh, has moved an application before the court, seeking an order to register a case under section 294 (obscene acts and songs), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts) of the IPC as well as relevant sections of the IT Act against the film’s actor and singer (Diljit Dosanjh), lyricist (Danish Sabri) and music director (Sajid and Wajid). Singh has moved similar applications in courts of Punjab and Delhi as well.
The complainant alleged that the song, ‘Pant Mein Gun hai’, of the film was “indecent, had patently offensive content and was unfit for public viewing”. Singh also alleged that the song promoted lust, greed, pride and anger.
“The video of the song, showing the lead actor (Diljit) dressed as a Sikh and mouthing obscene lyrics and dancing in an obscene manner, hurts the religious sentiments of Sikhs,” he said.
Not just that, a Sikh petitioner has also registered a complaint against Diljit and the song for the inappropriate lyrics and an FIR has been filed, according to a report in Mid-day.
A source close to the development said Singh is furious because “Sikhs keep katar (daggers)” not guns.
“The petitioner has alleged that the lyrics go against the principles of Sikhism. He suggests Diljit Dosanjh should have respected the teachings of the community before singing the song. Diljit has never faced a situation like this one before,” the source added.
“Our client, Pooja Films, as the film’s producer, has been receiving numerous telephone calls and many police complaints and pleas in court have been filed, objecting to the lyrics of the song. All these allegations are false and baseless,” Vibhav Krishna, the lawyer representing the film’s producer, said.
The producer of the movie, Vashu Bhagnani, said, “Our intention was not to hurt the sentiments of anyone, least of all religious sentiments of anybody. It’s deeply unfortunate that a fun song has been taken out of context. Welcome To New York is supposed to be a light funny film and the song ‘Pant Mein Gun Hai’ is along the same lines. It’s supposed to make people laugh and not upset them. We are really sorry if anyone’s religious sentiments have been hurt, but that was not our intention at all.”
‘Welcome to New York’ has also sparked a row for having Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice in one of the songs.
Wajid, one-half of the composing duo Sajid-Wajid sounds genuinely stunned by the allegations. “Mera tashan…Pant Mein Gun…this was my brother Sajid’s catchphrase and we used it to create a climactic song sequence for Diljit Dosanjh who plays a guy with a do-or-die chance to perform on stage. Vulgarity ka toh koi sawaal hi nahin hai. During all these years that my brother and I have been composing songs for films we’ve never ever resorted to double meanings or suggestive lyrics. We would not be able to look into the mirror if we did something obscene. Yes, there was some accusation of vulgarity in that item song Fevicol in Dabangg 2. But we never intended that song to be vulgar. And we never intended this song (Pant Mein Gun) to be vulgar.”
As for a section of the Sikh community being offended, Wajid is appalled by the suggestion of causing offence. “We would never ever dream of causing offence to any community. Look, Diljit Dosanjh is a fine and responsible member of the Sikh community. He heard the song and he loved it. Would he do anything to hurt the sentiments of his community? He is actually on the stage in the film with a gun on his hand. So where is the question of a double-meaning?”
Wajid feels artistes and musicians must be very careful today. “And we are very careful to not indulge in any kind offensive behaviour. If nonetheless some choose to get offended what can we do? I seriously think protesters should stop barking up the wrong tree. They should look at the songs and the music videos that deliberately objectify women and portray them in a crude and offensive manner. They are all over the internet and on television. You can’t watch them with your family. Ours is a fun song. We saw no double meaning in it until people pointed it out. It’s all in the mind, I guess.”
The film is slated to be released this Friday.
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