While the makers of Udta Punjab celebrate their momentous victory against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC, commonly referred to as the Censor Board), a regional film on a sensitive topic has run into trouble with the government body.
The makers of a Gujarati movie Salagto Sawaal Anamat (Burning Question of Reservation) have hit a roadblock as the Censor Board has demanded as many as 100 cuts in the film that talks about the reservation controversy that hit the state in July last year.
The Board has questioned the motive of the makers behind the film and has also said that the film's protagonist has a strong resemblance to the firebrand leader at the forefront of the quota war, Hardik Patel.
Patel is currently in jail as he faces two different charges of sedition. The Board's contention also rested in its observation that the film glamourises Patel.
Jaypratapsinh Chauhan, the film's co-producer told The Times of India that they immediately filed an appeal against the decision before a review committee of the board, which is likely to hear the plea today.
Among the cuts recommended by the Board are the removal of the word 'Patidar' or 'Patel' from every scene as well as portions of the film that are 'evocative' of the recent quota agitation.
The Board has also asked Gohil to remove references to BR Ambedkar, the principal architect of the Constitution of India who campaigned against social discrimination of Dalits.
"This is an attempt to curb the freedom of expression and creativity. I tried to convince them that the film is not exactly based on Hardik Patel. But they argued that the protagonist looked similar to the jailed quota leader," Gohil said.
Like the Udta Punjab producers, Gohil too is prepared to move court against the Censor Board. "If I will remove the word 'Patidar', the soul of the film will be gone," Gohil told TOI.
The film was slated to release on July 17, the same day as Abhishek Chaubey's Udta Punjab.. But now the makers aren't hopeful of making it on time. The film's director Rajesh Gohil told the newspaper that he will now have to delay the film's release till a clearance from the censors is secured.
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