May 29, 2002 
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Shaheed Bhagat Singh
'Bhagat Singh is not a brand name'
Nationalists upset with misrepresentations in multi-starrers

Onkar Singh in New Delhi

Even before the multi-starrers on Shaheed Bhagat Singh are readying for release in theatres across the country, a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, Article51 A Forum, has raised crucial questions about the authenticity of these films.

Four films on Bhagat Singh are currently under production in Hindi cinema --- Bobby Deol's 23rd March 1931--Shaheed, Ajay Devgan's The Legend Of Bhagat Singh, Tarun Khanna's film Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Sonu Sood's venture Shaheed-e-Azam. Two of these films are scheduled for a June 7 release while Sood's film releases May 31.

Speaking to Ravinder Kumar and Narendra Bhalla, president and general secretary of the forum, said they were determined to expose any attempt to damage historical facts by unscrupulous persons who are out to make quick money in the name of the national hero.

"The films are being shot without any research and devotion. The filmmakers are using all the tricks of film trade to produce and make spicy films based on imaginary episodes. The introduction of female characters is totally inconceivable," they said.

A still from 23rd March 1931 Shaheed J S Malhotra, convenor, said the release these films would jeopardise the values and the supreme scarifice of Bhagat Singh.

"If this trend, which started with Santosh Sivan's Asoka, is not stopped, the future generations will not forgive us for being witness to the rape of history. What is more unfortunate is that filmmakers are trying to encash the name of Bhagat Singh by using it as a brand name," Malhotra added.

The forum plans to hold demonstrations in the capital to arouse the public sentiments against these films. These demonstrations will be held in front of the theatres where these films will be screened.


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