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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Punjab lifts ban on Aarakshan

IANS  Chandigarh, August 14, 2011
First Published: 19:37 IST(14/8/2011) | Last Updated: 12:43 IST(15/8/2011)

Punjab on Sunday lifted the ban on the screening of filmmaker Prakash Jha's controversial movie Aarakshan which deals with the issue of caste-based reservation.

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal cleared the file, revoking the ban on the film across the state, official sources said.

The film's shows are expected to start in theatres on Sunday evening or Monday morning, industry sources said.

A high-level committee set up to preview the movie on Friday recommended revocation of the ban in the state if the film producer agreed to make certain changes.

The committee said the film contained some dialogues and scenes which could provoke the emotions of certain communities, especially those from the weaker sections of society.

"This may prove to be a disturbing factor in society, especially in Punjab where more than 31 percent of the 2.77 crore population belongs to the weaker sections, including the Scheduled Castes," the panel said.

The committee even listed the positive aspects of the film.

"The committee felt that the movie has depicted the educational backwardness of the Dalits, which can be addressed in a positive manner and the same is well brought out," its report said.

"The movie focuses on the bane of commercialisation of education. It has clearly brought out the message that the educational system needs to be improved for the uplift of the Dalits."

A committee spokesman said: "Since the overall message of the movie is positive, the committee feels that the movie may be released in Punjab after making the amendments as suggested."

The panel was headed by Punjab's secretary-home Samir Kumar and included four other members.

The state government imposed a ban on the film on Thursday following intelligence reports that it could lead to social disturbance.

Aarakshan features leading Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone.

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