A few weeks ago, the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara in Southall (a London suburb) was the centre of attraction, as Shaad Ali shot for Jhoom Barabar Jhoom in the parking lot.
Abhishek Bachchan and Lara Dutta, along with the rest of the cast and crew, were also present. But their behaviour has upset several Sikhs who come to worship there.
Says a source, "It was shocking, to say the least.
Scantily clad women in miniskirts and sleeveless tops not only pranced around, but the crew openly ate meat and smoked cigarettes in the gurudwara's premises, with little regard for the religious sentiments of the people."
The source states that the main portions of the film were based in and around Glassy Junction, a pub across the street from the gurudwara. "But then large crowds with screaming teenagers rushed to the gurudwara, waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars.
The ruckus transformed the gurudwara's peaceful atmosphere into a media circus. People who wanted to pray inside were prevented from doing so because of the noise outside. Himmat Sohi and the gurudwara committee gave permission to the Yash Raj unit to shoot on the premises. Abhishek and Lara shot an intimate dance sequence with four scantily clad girls in front of the gurudwara."
However, Himmat Sohi, the president of the gurudwara, dismisses the allegations.
"This is propaganda being spread by some disgruntled members because I have been elected the gurudwara's president for the seventh time. Some unit people did smoke on the premises, but they didn't know the rules. They later apologised when we told them about it. They were sorry and that's enough. But they didn't eat meat."
As far as creating a ruckus and preventing prayers is concerned, Sohi maintains that the gurudwara closes at 9.30 pm, and prayers cease by 8.30 pm.
"It's true that some people complained, but I apologised immediately and sorted it out. We have given out the parking space for other events earlier like cancer projects. So this is not the first time. As for the scantily clad women, they were not shooting inside the gurudwara. The Holy Scripture says that you need to cover your head only when you are inside the gurudwara. These are very minor things."
The last word
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had forbidden films from being shot at Sikh religious spaces. The Sandesh of Sri Akal Takht Sahib explicitly states: "Any form of intoxicants (alcohol, drugs, etc) and preparation or consumption of foods such as meat, fish and eggs is not permitted on the gurudwara property."