In July, 2023, there was a buzz of the premiere of Punjab 95 happening at the TIFF. However, going by what Variety has to report, the movie has been dropped from the lineup.
The movie is ‘a compelling story based on the life of human right activist Jaswant Singh Khalra’. The story dwells on the murderous corruption during Punjab’s period of insurgency. The movie is a biopic about Punjab based human right activist Jaswant Singh Khalra who disappeared in 1995. A decade later, 6 Punjab police personnel were convicted for his murder.
The trouble for the movie began when the Central Board of Film Certification took nearly seven months to approve the movie. There have been several cuts and the original name ‘Ghallughara’ has been replaced.
According to CBFC, “certain parts of the film could incite violence and may potentially radicalize Sikh youth while affecting the integrity of India and its relations with foreign states.”
The movie is directed by Honey Trehan and stars singer Diljit Dosanjh. A spokesperson from the TIFF stated, “that the movie is no longer a part of the programme. The festival would not comment further on the reasons behind its withdrawal.”
Arjun Rampal and Surinder Pal Vicky are also a part of the star cast. The movie revolves around the fake encounters of Sikh youths by Punjab Police during militancy. The Punjab Police was given extreme power by the center under Indira Gandhi’s government where they could arrest individuals without valid reasons and the atrocities committed at that time.