Two weeks prior to its release, Madhur Bhandarkar's film 'Indu Sarkar' has courted fresh trouble. Priya Singh Paul, who claims to be late Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi's secret daughter, has moved the Delhi High Court against the film, claiming that it portrays her 'father', Sanjay Gandhi, and 'grandmother', former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi in a negative light, reports Hindustan Times.
'Indu Sarkar' is loosely based on the 21-month-long period of Emergency in India between 1975 and 1977, imposed by then PM Indira.
According to a report in Asian Age, Priya Singh Paul claims that she was born in 1968 and was adopted at the age of 6, in 1974. She also claims that she found out being Sanjay Gandhi's biological daughter only in 2010, when told by Vimla Gujral, former Prime Minister IK Gujral's sister and that her adoption papers had been forged.
Paul claims that she is "not hankering for media attention and decided to come out as a wrong impression was being created about her father," reported India Today. And that the misrepresentation in the film was forcing her to "break her silence".
In the past, the film's director, National Award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has clarified that the film is "30 percent facts and 70 percent fiction." But Paul claims that "these so-called facts lead to a fiction. This has been cleverly done to influence a reasonable viewer to make an obvious connect," according to the Hindustan Times report.
Another person, a Goswami Sushil-ji Maharaj, who claims to be a 'friend' of Sanjay Gandhi, has filed an affidavit claiming prior knowledge of him having fathered a daughter prior to his marriage.
Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash in 1980. He is survived by wife Maneka Gandhi, the current Minister for Women and Child Development, and BJP MP, Varun Gandhi.
This is not the film's only brush with controversy. Last month, Paul sent a four-page notice, dated 23 June, to Bhandarkar, producer Bharat Shah, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu, and Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), to stop the film from being released until it was shown to her and received her approval.
While the film's makers had remained silent, Hindustan Times quoted Nihalani as saying, "Unless the Gandhi parivaar acknowledges her claims, we can't act on Ms Singh's objections to the film."
Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash in 1980. He is survived by wife Maneka Gandhi, the current Minister for Women and Child Development and BJP Lok Sabha MP, Varun Gandhi.
A week ago, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam wrote to the CBFC, asking that the film be screened for them for review before being 'censored', since it portrayed beloved Congress leaders and they wanted to ensure they were not being shown in a bad light. Bhandarkar had refused to screen the film for Congress or any other political party.
Prior to all of this, in June, after the release of the first trailer and several posters of 'Indu Sarkar', Congress spokesperson Jyotiraditya Scindia had condemned the film saying, "This film is fully sponsored. The organisation and the individual who is behind the film is known to us. We totally condemn the false depictions in the film."
'Indu Sarkar' is set for a 28 July release and stars Supriya Vinod, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Kirti Kulhari and Anupam Kher.