PIL against Jimmy Shergill's Shorgul for 'disturbing harmony'

The petitioner sought a stay on the film saying several scenes depict political unrest and could disrupt the calm in Uttar Pradesh.

Shriram Iyengar

Jimmy Shergill's new film Shorgul has run into rough weather. The film is the story of a friendship between a Hindu youth and a Muslim woman which escalates into a political issue.

A public-interest petition was filed at the Allahabad high court by a social worker in Meerut, Milind Som. A local leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Som sought a stay on the film, which is scheduled to release on 24 June.

According to reports, the petition was filed on the basis of certain scenes in the film being highly objectionable and posing a threat to social harmony in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The film stars Jimmy Shergill and Ashutosh Rana in the lead roles with Hiten Tejwani, Eijaz Khan and Sanjay Suri also making appearances.

The petition also alleged that the film has several characters based on popular politicians like Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and cabinet minister Azam Khan.

Jimmy Shergill, speaking to the IANS news agency, clarified that Shorgul is not a biopic. "If it was, we would have sought permission and spent time with the person concerned as we have to understand our role," he said. "But there is nothing like that. It is a socio-political film, with a love story."

Shergill said the film had already been cleared by the Central Board for Film Certification, popularly known as the censor board. "There is also a clipping which clearly states that all characters are fictitious." the actor said. 

Co-director Jitendra Tiwari also cleared his stand on the petition, saying, "It is not based on a single incident or individual. We are extremely proud of the fact that the film is inspired by incidents that the common man can immediately relate to. We are bringing a contemporary twist to incidents that have fundamentally affected the peace of a democracy as ours by asking the question of ‘where does humanity stand in the midst of intolerance'?"

The film is directed by Jitendra Tiwari and P Singh, and is scheduled to be released in theatres on 24 June.