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Can I have my freedom of expression: Madhur Bhandarkar asks Rahul Gandhi

A press conference for the promotion of Indu Sarkar had to be cancelled in Nagpur after Congress workers protested against Madhur Bhandarkar and his latest film.

bollywood Updated: Jul 16, 2017 17:59 IST
Asian News International
Madhur Bhandarkar,Indu Sarkar,Rahul Gandhi
Madhur Bhandarkar during the song launch Dilli Ki Raat from film Indu Sarkar, in New Delhi.(PTI)

Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar took to Twitter on Sunday and called upon Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, seeking his intervention into the grand old party’s constant interference in the press conferences of his upcoming directorial venture - Indu Sarkar.

Madhur Bhandarkar, Bappi Lahri along with actors Kirti Kulhari and Ishika Taneja during a song launch for Indu Sarkar. ( PTI )

“Dear @OfficeOfRG after Pune I have 2 cancel today’s PressCon at Nagpur.Do you approve this hooliganism? Can I have my Freedom of Expression?” Bhandarkar tweeted on Sunday.

His tweet came after a press conference in relation with the movie was cancelled in Nagpur over the protests by the Congress workers. “In Nagpur today for #InduSarkar promotions. Looking for some gr8 media interactions in the heart of India.@iamkirtikulhari @InduSarkarMovie,” he had earlier tweeted.

A day before, another press conference of Indu Sarkar at Pune was cancelled after few Congress workers took to protest against the movie. Thereafter, Bhandarkar took to Twitter to share the news, citing the team of the movie was left stranded “like hostages in the hotel room”. “Congress workers hv barged in the Hotel lobby & created ruckus,me & team are stranded like hostages in hotel room. #pune activity cancelled,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Bhandarkar had censured the controversy surrounding his upcoming directorial venture and had asserted that the movie is not a documentary, but a work of fiction.

“This is completely wrong, and controversy like this should not happen because I made a film as a filmmaker and I’m saying that 70 percent of film is fiction and 30 percent is reality. The reality is based on the books and the documentaries made on them. I don’t understand the demand that they (the Congress) want to watch the movie before its release. Let my film get censor board clearance and the moment it is released in the theaters, you can go and watch the film,” Bhandarkar said.

Citing that he has been known for making movies, which are hard-hitting, real and topical, Bhandarkar has appealed other filmmakers and the public to side with him over the issue as this reeks of suppression of freedom of expression.

“My movie is based on the story of a husband and a wife, who have contradictory opinion about the Emergency. It’s about the clash of points of view and the backdrop of the movie is the Emergency. My film is an emotional journey. I am concentrating on that thing and they are simply bullying a filmmaker by asking him to change something or the other,” he added.

Indu Sarkar is based on a 21-month long period, from 1975 to 1977, when the then prime minister Indira Gandhi unilaterally had a state of emergency declared across the country. The trailer of the movie led the Congress party to ask the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for a review before it comes under the scanner.

In this regard, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam wrote to CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani, expressing the grand old party’s wish to watch the movie before it is ‘censored’. :The trailer of the film says it’s a film on Emergency and hence, we can see the likes of our beloved leaders like Indira Gandhi ji, Sanjay Gandhi ji and other senior leaders of the India National Congress. We, therefore, want to be certain that our leaders are not shown in bad light and hence, would like to see the film before it’s censored,” Nirupam mentioned, in a letter addressed to Nihalani.

Furthermore, reiterating Nirupam’s request, Maharashtra Leader of Opposition (LoP) Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil wrote to state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene in the matter revolving around the controversial movie ‘ Indu Sarkar’ based on the Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Patil expressed the Congress’ apprehension that the movie might have distorted the historical facts which may hurt the sentiments of the Congressmen and the public at large and so the movie must be exhibited to the Congress first and then be released.

Patil further said the Chief Minister should assure this so that law and order situation post the release of the movie is maintained.

Few other political outfits have also expressed dismay over the movie, while some have taken to Twitter to threaten Bhandarkar against the movie’s release.

Indu Sarkar is slated to release on July 28.

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First Published: Jul 16, 2017 15:47 IST