Manmarziyan still
Manmarziyan stillYouTube screenshot

Anurag Kashyap's Manmarziyan (Manmarziyaan) has landed in trouble with the Sikh community for hurting their religious sentiments with the depiction of certain scenes in the film. They are now planning to file an FIR against Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, writers, directors and producers of the film.

The Sikh Sangat of Ambala held a meeting at Gurdwara Manji Sahib on Monday where they decided to seek a ban on the screening of the film after discussing various aspects of the film. They have also issued a warning that they will stage protests outside multiple cinema houses if Manmarziyan is not taken off from theatres.

The Sikh organisation have objected to a few scenes where Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu can be seen smoking cigarettes while acting as Sikh characters. They have also objected to the scene where Abhishek Bachchan, who plays a Sikh, can be seen removing his turban in an inappropriate way.

According to the petition filed against Manmarziyan actors and makers by advocate Aditya Sharma and Harpreet Singh Kang on behalf of the Sikh organisation, a Sikh youth removing his turban after marrying is a violation of the fundamental rights described in Article 19 (2) and 25 of the Indian Constitution.

"The filmmakers have not only hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs, but they have also made an attempt to distort the Sikh principles. This is not the first time when a film is attacking the Sikh identity, earlier as well there have been films which have targeted the Sikhs. We will strongly oppose the screening of this film in our area, we urge the Sikhs worldwide to unite and stand against this film," the Sikhs told The Times Of India.

Director Anurag Kashyap has now issued a statement on the brewing controversy on Twitter. Read the full un-edited text here.

"I am not in India and I have been reading about the Sikh community feeling offended by the smoking scene. This film is not commenting on a community, it talks about individuals and their choices. Every step of the way, we asked for guidance from Sikh people for the film.

When we shot the sequence in Gurudwara, we were told we can't shoot them getting married as it can't be faked so me made the actors do only "Mattha tekna ". When we were shooting scenes, no member of crew was allowed to smoke inside the houses. When we shot the smoking scene , it was shot on the street and there were close to 150 people watching the shoot.

We asked before doing the scene and were told that he has to take the Turban off before he smokes away from his house. We were also shown how Robbie should take the turban off with both hands and how he should hand it over and how the cousin should take it. Most of the 150 people in the crowd were sikhs and we were told that's how it is.

We created what we saw with our own eyes and after discussion. It was never the intention to hurt the community and why would we do that when we got so much love from them. The city of Amritsar opened their hearts and doors to us and everything was done with utmost care. Not a single thing was shot without guidance.

We wanted to show things the way they are. No religion teaches crime or anything anti-humanity, yet those things happen. It doesn't mean they are offending the religion. Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion. I am sorry if anyone feels genuinely hurt but I would also request that please don't make this unnecessary political because it's not.

I have always put out things the way they are without an agenda. Technology does not allow us to cut a scene and it affects the story telling. So I definitely can not do that now.To those whose hurt is genuine, I offer a genuine apology, that wasn't my intention. And for those who are doing it for attention , I am glad you have got the attention."

Despite getting positive reviews, Manmarziyan has collapsed at the Indian box office in the first week itself. After taking a slow start at the box office, the movie has earned Rs 16.43 crore so far.