Aligarh not banned, but town still uneasy about gay film

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Aligarh
  • Updated: Feb 29, 2016 08:39 IST
Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpai during the promotion of film Aligarh in Mumbai. (IANS Photo)

Three days after the release of Hansal Mehta-directed ‘Aligarh’, the movie is yet to see the light of the day in Aligarh city.

Contradicting rumors that the film is banned, District Magistrate Dr Balkar Singh said, “The movie is not banned in Aligarh. It is up to movie hall owners to screen the movie. The administration has nothing to do with its release.”

Sudhir Sisodia, manager, Minakshi cinema hall said, “The public are very excited about the movie. So we have requested the distributor to release the film.”

The raging issues of LGBT and media freedom have triggered a debate and slowed down the release of the movie, which is based on the gay relations of Prof Shri Niwas Ramchandra Siras of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Although some LGBT organisations have termed the movie as a bold step towards liberalization, some have also questioned the role of media in encroaching upon privacy.

Nitin Raghvan, president of Gay Movement said, “The film is a daring attempt to get recognised gay relations. Prof Siras has became an icon of gay movement.”

Some intellectuals feel that the controversy over the movie has been raised unnecessarily. Social analyst N Jamal Ansari said, “Creativity should not be bound, banned or subjected to interference. Opposition to the film is just hypocrisy.”

Amidst the raging debate, some intellectuals have been demanding a cap on the limits of media. They want the the government to enact a fresh law to save the privacy of citizens. Advocate Pravin Gautam said, “The film depicts media encroachment in personal life of a citizen which is against Constitutional provisions. A law should be enacted to stop the same.”

However, both Hindu and Muslim organisations are of the view that the film should not be released at all. Dr Jasim Mohammad, secretary, forum for Muslim Studies & Analysis said, “We are not demanding any ban on the film. We object the title of the movie as it sends out a wrong message about the city and AMU.”

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