Legendary painter MF Husain's short film was not screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Tuesday after it was withdrawn following pressure from Hindu right wing groups sparking angry condemnation from eminent filmmakers.
"The screening of the documentary has been deferred. It may be shown some other time," Director of film festival SM Khan said . The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had decided to defer the screening of the documentary last night.
The 40-year old documentary, 'Through the Eyes of a Painter', about Husain's experience in Rajasthan, was a part of I and B Ministry's Films Division's 'Framing Time section' and was due to be screened today.
Hindu organisations 'Sanatan Sanstha' and 'Hindu Janajagruti Samiti' (HJS) had objected to the screening of the documentary by the nonagerian painter, citing that there were several cases pending against him in India.
"This is ridiculous. Just because some people have problems with a filmmaker, it(the documentary) cannot be treated like this," veteran filmmaker Jahnu Barua said.
Alleging that the move to drop the documentary was against the freedom of expression, Barua said that he had seen the film six times and had found nothing objectionable in it.
"An artist should not suffer because of politics," Dadasaheb Phalke award winning filmmaker Adoor Gopalkrishnan said, adding that the film should be shown by all means.
HJS functionaries had written to Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat and the DFF, on the first day of the festival, to withdraw the documentary. The members had also met Kamat personally with a memorandum.
"The Chief Minister requested the organisers to defer the screening as it might create law and order problem in the state," highly placed sources said.