The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has denied clearance to two films based on the Patidar agitation in Gujarat. The reason, apparently, was that the characters and situations in the film are far too close to real life and could disrupt peace in society.
Producers of both films have now decided to fight it out in the court since, they said, huge sums of money were at stake.
Power of Patidar film’s producer Dipak Soni said here that the board had orally communicated to him three days ago that the movie could not be released since certain names and characters as also the situations in the film are too close to reality.
He is yet to receive an official rejection slip.
Salagto Sawal: Anamat (Burning issue: Reservation) has also been rejected, lest it “disrupts peace in society and promote violence”, according to its producer Rajesh Gohil.
He says they were also asked to remove the word Patel from the film and remove three songs.
Gohil shrugged: “Removing the word Patel could make the film pointless for it is based on the Patidars.”
Expressing his surprise, Soni said a special screening of his film was organised only for the board members on July 22 and members of Gujarat’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and three board officials.
He said the board had raised objections against his showing some real-life leaders and other characters of the ongoing reservation agitation in the film.
Besides, the film has used the name and addresses of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti convener Hardik Patel and some active PAAS members.
It also has a scene wherein a child takes the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a woman character whose get-up very closely resembles that of chief minister Anandiben Patel.
“Such real-time characters cannot be allowed in a film based on an agitation,” the board has reportedly told the producer.
Reacting to the matter in Udaipur where he is staying following his conditional bail by the Gujarat high court, Hardik Patel blamed the state’s BJP government for the board’s negative stand on the films.
“The Anandiben Patel government was so far scared of the real-life quota agitation. Now, it is unnerved even by the reel quota agitation,” he took a jibe at the government.
The troubles of these two films with the CBFC has put at least four other under-production movies with similar theme under a cloud of uncertainty.