Director Mrityunjay Devvrat is struggling for approval from the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) for his film, titled The Bastard Child.
Mrityunjay is amazed that "Naajayaz (1995), Kaminey (2009) and Inglourious Basterds (2009) are acceptable but not my title. I don’t understand why they are objecting because only the censor board has the authority to reject titles."
He adds, "The dictionary defines ‘bastard’ as a child born out of wedlock. It becomes profane only when society uses it in the wrong sense. Maybe they are troubling me because I don’t have enough sources."
The film deals with the birth of Bangladesh in 1971, focusing on the genocide and when "400,000 women were raped and 3 million people were killed", according to a story published in the newspaper, Mint.
"We all know of Hitler and his atrocious ways. People have watched Schindler’s List (1993) and Guns Of Navarone (1961) but the genocide that took place in Bangladesh is something that hasn’t been spoken about. The film will showcase how rape and religion were used as war weaponry," he says.
Mrityunjay hopes the film releases smoothly in India. "It might face protests in Bangladesh but I will release it there as I spent part of my childhood in the country. This is a small token from my end," he says.
Starring Pavan Malhotra, Farooque Shaikh, Victor Banerjee and Raima Sen, the film will release on December 13 in Bangladesh and on December 27 in India.
On being contacted, IMPPA president TP Aggarwal says, "I spoke to the Film Makers Combined and they found the title abusive so they rejected it. I spoke to them to reconsider. Now if the film-maker reapplies, we will reconsider."
(With inputs from Dibyojyoti Baksi)