Filmmaker Prakash Jha was in a state of shock when he recently received a call from a member of the housing society where his office is located, asking him to confine his business to his office. ‘Do what you want in your office premise and don’t leave your property out in the parking lot,’ said the caller.
A baffled Jha couldn’t figure out what the problem was. It was only after he questioned his team back at the office that he realised what the fuss was all about. Apparently, shooting props such as flags and banners carrying anti-government slogans were stored in Jha’s office for future use in the filmmaker’s next movie, Chakravyuh, which is on the issue of naxalism. A worker from his office had washed a few flags and put them out to dry in the society compound. The sight of this publicity material with propagandist messages alarmed residents who thought that the filmmaker was planning a protest in the housing society premises.
Says Jha, “As my film is about naxals, we got red flags with anti-police, anti-government slogans such as ‘Revolution Gun Victory’. After, I got the call from the society, I called up my office to find out what happened and why it had become a big issue. The flags were being dried in the sun, which is why the residents of the society got a bit scared. They were perhaps worried about some of the slogans. But once I went and explained that the flags are for the film and nothing to do with any kind of protest, they were relieved.”
The film stars Abhay Deol and Arjun Rampal and is a serious take on the problems of naxalites. Currently the unit is shooting in the jungles of Panchmari, Madhya Pradesh, and will return to Mumbai on June 14 after wrapping up a major portion of the film.