A film based on Hardik Patel who led the Patidar agitation in Gujarat has failed to get a certificate from the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Objecting to the film’ s theme and references to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, the Censor Board on Tuesday communicated the decision to not certify the film.
Director of the film, Power of Patidar, Mahesh Patel told Hindustan Times that the censor board has refused to certify the film, despite the makers being ready to drop portions that have been objected to.
Led by Hardik Patel, the Patidars, also known as the Patels have been demanding reservation and inclusion in the Other Backward Castes (OBC) category.
The agitation peaked in July 2015, and was followed by incidents of arson and violence.
“We were told that we cannot use Hardik Patel’s real name in the film. The board also objected to a character in the film who bears resemblance to Anandiben and a reference to PM Modi in a dialogue. We are ready to make changes, but the board had barred the film,” Patel said.
The filmmakers will now approach the Gujarat High Court to seek permission for the film’s release.
The fact that the film’s producer had paid the bail amount for Hardik’s release, following his arrest on charges of sedition, has not gone done well with the CB F C. “We have been told that the movie has been made and financed by Hardik himself and that too has gone against us,” Patel said.
The government seems to be playing safe by stalling the film’s release ahead of the 2017 Gujarat assembly polls.
Comprising over 20% of Gujarat’s population, the economically well placed Patidars are expected to swing the polls.
Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihlani was not available for comment despite repeated calls and messages.