Even a rockstar guru can fail to woo the censor board in India.
“MSG: Messenger of God’ slated to be released this Friday on January 16, 2015, is now reportedly under the cloud of uncertainty. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) did not pass the film as it looked more like a long advertisement for the self-styled godman than a regular Bollywood film.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan is the head of the Dera Sacha Sauda religious sect. In MSG, he plays himself – a spiritual leader with millions of followers, and fighting a conspiracy to kill him as he is busy eradicating social evils and gender bias in the society, much like a hero would. As per the movie’s Wikipedia page, all five/six songs have been written and sung by Singh himself. Gurmeet is also the co-director of MSG.
The movie shows him performing miracles and curing terminal diseases, thereby promoting superstition, blind faith and himself as ‘God’, shared a committee member of the board. The CBFC has now referred the film to the Appellate Tribunal, who will watch the movie again.
Meanwhile as the fate of the movie lies with the Tibunal, the supporters of the godman have invaded Twitter to trend #isupportMSG on top Twitter trends. Most of them are requesting the Prime Minister to get it cleared.
— Poonam Insan (@poonaminsan777) January 14, 2015
— kushaldp#isupportMSG (@kushaldeep77) January 14, 2015
The film has a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter as well; both the pages have been sharing about the movie extensively. From trending every song in the movie to sharing the poster and the movie trailer, the pages have been generating quite a buzz on social media.
Interestingly, Gurmeet Ram Rahim the guru also has a Twitter account with over 65.9K followers and seems to be the one who first tweeted the hashtag #iSupportMSG.
Back in December, MSG had created headlines when it had released the movie trailer on YouTube. Watching a real life spiritual master perform heroic stunts was amusing in itself and highly viral. Together with his 50 million supporters from the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, and massive Twitter hashtag promotions, the trailer has received over 2.2 million views till date.
Depicting himself performing miracles is not the only concern of the censor board. The committee also felt that MSG may hurt religious sentiments. The Center has warned the Punjab and Haryana governments that the movie might spark off communal tensions and in case it gets the censor board clearance, it would still need adequate security at cinema halls. When MSG posters were burnt by the Sikh community in Barnala town in Punjab, the state had to deploy police force and commandos to tackle the situation.
Despite all of this, it has been reported that the sequel to MSG is also being shot. We hope the high hopes of the movie are not dashed by the Appellate Tribunal.