Following the release of Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha last week, several social media users shared an image showing a group of Sikh men holding their religious flag and posters of the movie. Those who shared the picture claimed that the image was from a protest by the Sikh community against the movie in Punjab’s Jalandhar. Newschecker found the claim to be false and that the men seen in the viral image actually came out in support of the movie and not against it.
Haryana BJP’s former IT Cell In-Charge Arun Yadav was among those who shared the image with the caption which translates to “Protest against Laal Singh Chaddha in Jalandhar, Aamir Khan Murdabad slogans were raised.” His post has been retweeted over 4,900 times, quoted over 160 times and has garnered 31.6k likes. An archived version of the same can be seen here.
The image is going viral on Facebook too.
Another image is also going viral on Facebook claiming to show a protest against Laal Singh Chaddha.
Hindi news major Aaj Tak also featured the viral image with the caption in Hindi which translates to “Protest against Laal Singh Chaddha in Jalandhar,” only to replace it later with a poster of the movie. The archived version of the same can be seen here.
Laal Singh Chaddha, the remake of Tom Hank’s Forrest Gump has been facing boycott calls from a section of social media users over comments made in the past by the lead actors of the movie Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan. The Aamir Khan-starrer reportedly fell flat on the box office as well. Released on August 11, the movie earned Rs18.96 crore in the first two days despite the long weekend. Notably, Akshay Kumar starrer, Raksha Bandhan- which was released on the same day as Laal Singh Chaddha- also earned Rs 14.60 crore in the box office in the first two days.
A keyword search for “Laal Singh Chaddha” & “Jalandhar” on Google led us to a report by The Tribune, dated August 11, 2022, titled, ‘Tension outside mall over screening of Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha.’ Featuring an image of turbaned men holding the Sikh religious flag along with the posters of Laal Singh Chaddha, the report elaborated how a protest by Shiv Sena activists against the movie was countered by members of Sikh Tal-Mel committee in Jalandhar.
Alleging that Khan had insulted Hindu gods and goddesses in his previous movie PK, the protesting Shiv Sena activists said that they would not allow any multiplex operator in the city (Jalandhar) to screen Laal Singh Chaddha. The report stated, “They (Sena activists) also removed the posters of the movie, which were placed inside and outside the mall premises.”
The report further added that the situation became tense when the activists of the Sikh Talmel Committee also reached the mall and countered the Shiv Sena activists, saying they won’t tolerate such “hooliganism”.
The Talmel Committee said that there was nothing objectionable in the movie, and that boycotting or demanding a ban on Laal Singh Chadha over scenes from a movie that was released some eight years ago was “unjustified”.
The Tribune report quoted Sikh Talmel Committee member Harpal Chaddha saying, “The Sena leaders in their address openly challenged us that they won’t let any show of the movie run in the theatres after 3 pm. Therefore, we accepted their challenge and reached the spot immediately. We held a protest there against the Sena leaders till 3.30 pm and ensured that no organisation or leaders created any nuisance over its screening.”
The video report on the same can be seen here.
On comparing the visuals of protest by he Sikh Talmel Committee members against the Shiv Sena activists in Jalandhar with the viral images, we could conclude that a group of Sikh men seen in the viral pictures were members of the committee that came out against Sena’s attempts to force multiplex to stop the screening of Laal Singh Chaddha. The men seen in the viral pictures did not protest against Khan or his movie.
We also found a Dainik Bhaskar report on the same, which was titled (translated from Hindi), ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ became Hindu vs Sikh in Punjab: When Hindu organisations stopped the show, Sikhs came out in support of Aamir; Said – the film will not stop’. The report carried a video of Sikh Talmel Committee members sloganeering against the Shiv Sena which was the same as the viral image.
Furthermore, Newschecker reached out to Sikh Talmel Committee Chief Tajinder Singh Pardeshi who confirmed to us that they came out in support of the movie. “It is the first time he (Aamir Khan) is portraying the character of a Sikh man in a movie. What is your (Shiv Sena’s) problem? The problem should have been back then (during PK’s release). What is the problem now?”
“When we came to know that they (Shiv Sena) were stopping the screening and removing the posters, our members reached the spot and we put the posters back and challenged them to try and stop the screening, following which the Shiv Sena members stayed away,” he added.
Pardeshi also shared some pictures of their protest and news clippings about the same with Newschecker. The same can be seen below.
Viral posts claiming to show that members of Sikh community held a protest against Aamir Khan-starrer Laal Singh Chaddha are false.
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