Kashmiri Pandits seek ban on 'Haider' for misrepresenting ancient Sun Temple

Jammu: Taking exception to the alleged misrepresentation of ancient Sun Temple in Kashmir in Vishal Bharadwaj's movie 'Haider', a committee of displaced Kashmiri Pandits has sought a ban on the film.

"The song 'Bismil' has portrayed the ancient Martand Temple (Sun Temple) of Kashmir as the den of devil. The portrayal of our religious symbol in bad light has not only hurt the religious sentiments of the Kashmir Pandit community, but also the sentiments of Hindus all over the world," Vinod Pandit, chairman of the All Parties Migrants Co-ordination committee (APMCC) said.

Haider movie
A still from the film Haider. Pic courtesy/Santa Banta

The committee held a protest against the film and its producers here and burnt the film's poster which included photographs of its director Vishal Bhardwaj, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

APMCC members said a nationwide agitation against the filmmaker will be launched and sought the intervention of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on the issue.

They also condemned Bhardwaj for allegedly "hatching a conspiracy to denigrate the 1700-year-old Hindu temple in Kashmir".

The Sun Temple, build in 370 AD, has historic and religious significance for the Hindu community as it is one of the only two Sun Temples in India, with the other one in Konark in Odisha.

"The Sun Temple in Kashmir is facing West which attains greater significance in the Hindu scriptures," Pandit said.

"We had performed a Hawan (ritual) at the temple on October 2, 2009 after many years. Shooting of the song inside the temple and depicting it as a den of the devil is intolerable.

"The ASI is also responsible for allowing the shooting inside the temple complex. The Censor board should not have allowed the film to be released," APMCC spokesman King Bharati said.

The committee said they will issue a legal notice to the film's producers as well as CBFC and ASI seeking action and damages for defaming the ancient temple and hurting religious sentiments.

It also asked Hindu organisations in the country and across the world to disallow such act of offending the religion under garb of artistic freedom.

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