In the latest development to the controversy around the Information & Broadcasting ministry scrapping the primetime TV premiere of the National Award winning film, The Dirty Picture, Censor Board chairperson Leela Samson has said that the film’s lobby is putting pressure on the council.
While attending a conference in Mumbai on Saturday, a Mumbai tabloid quoted Samson as saying, “The lobby on The Dirty Picture is very strong. If the industry wants a new cinematograph act, then why does that same industry not come forward to ask for the implementation of the new act?”
Her usage of the word ‘lobby’ has angered Bollywood. “Convincing for a cause should not be seen as lobbying. Why should Ekta’s film be made a guinea pig. Ekta, Jeetendra and Balaji are part of the film fraternity and we cannot abandon them. We are fighting for them because we could be in a similar situation tomorrow,” says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “The industry needs to solve many problems and the fact that The Dirty Picture premiere was scrapped is one of them. I think this support cannot be called lobbying.”
Filmmaker Pritish Nandy agrees. “A great movie deserves a strong lobby to defend it. I see nothing wrong in that.” Reacting to the ‘lobbying’ comment, Tanuj Garg of Balaji motion Pictures says, “What is being termed as a lobby is actually support. The issue has now become a pan-industry one, as what happened to this film can happen to others too. There’s concern in everyone’s minds.”
When contacted, Samson, however, denied using the word ‘lobby’ and said the ministry is looking into the matter.