Producer apologises but says movie “is meant to be a fictional work”

Bangladesh has expressed disappointment over reported distortion of historical facts in the film Gunday about its 1971 liberation war, and requested India to stop screening the movie with “immediate effect.”

The movie, produced by Yash Raj Films and released in India on February 14, portrays the birth of Bangladesh as a result of a 13-day battle between India and Pakistan. The film, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said, undermined the nine-month-long bloody war people of the then East Pakistan fought against Pakistani occupation forces.

The film triggered an outcry in the country as it showed that its protagonists, Bikram and Bala, were orphaned by the “1971 Indo-Pakistan war that resulted in the formation of Bangladesh.”

A spokesman of the Foreign Ministry said it had already taken up the issue officially and a “strong protest” had been conveyed to Indian authorities.

Cultural and social forums across the country, including Bangladeshis abroad, have expressed strong disapproval on social media and demanded an apology from the production company.

The Foreign Ministry, in a press statement, said the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhiwas trying to ascertain the veracity of the reported distortion of historical facts.

The producer has already offered an apology, but said the film “was and is meant to be a fictional work and does not in any way project or intend to disrespect any particular segment of society or persons or a nation.” It also regretted causing disrespect to a nation’s birth, which it said “is always steeped in the sacrifices made by its freedom fighters and martyrs and this can never be forgotten.”