The Indian Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) again refused clearance to Punjabi film Toofan Singh based on a Khalistani militant, starring Ranjit Bawa, for its release in India.
The film was originally scheduled for a release on July 15, 2016 but was postponed after the censor board refused clearance after they were unable to reach a consensus. A subsequent revising committee refused certification in September 2016 citing that “the film depicts anti-national elements and glorifies the Khalistan movement.” Board’s decision paved the way for the fresh submission on July 13, 2017 to the CBFC.
A spokesman for the producers of the film said, that following the decision of the CBFC, Royal Cine Arts re-mastered the entire film to address all points raised by the CBFC. Despite full co-operation, a fresh submission to the CBFC received an outright blanket refusal for clearance. A distinct message was also communicated outlining that clearance would never be granted regardless of current or any future amendments.
Toofan Singh is the story of a young Sikh boy growing up in Punjab during the turbulent 1980’s. The story charters his pursuit for justice, survival and equality for all.
The film is the directorial debut of Baghal Singh of Royal Cine Arts and stars Punjabi singer Ranjit Bawa in a project which was planned as his debut movie.
Director the movie, Baghal Singh, said, “It is highly disappointing that the CBFC have refused clearance despite our full co-operation with all industry rules and regulations. Furthermore, they have made it clear that regardless of our efforts, clearance will never be granted. This clearly indicates that the system is highly prejudicial and is openly restricting freedom of expression. A great deal of research, effort and cost has gone into producing and ensuring a high quality and authentic film was produced. In light of the unprecedented response to the film trailer, it is unfortunate that Indian audiences will be unable to watch the film. Toofan Singh will still be released internationally on the 4th of August and we will continue to make every effort to challenge the CBFC.”