Ashoke Pandit condemns Mamata Banerjee's ‘dictatorial attitude’ post The Kerala Story ban in West Bengal

May 09, 2023 10:10 AM IST

Ashoke Pandit recalled West Bengal CM applauding Amitabh Bachchan's freedom of expression speech. He condemned her decision to ban The Kerala Story in state.

Filmmaker and president of the Indian Film & Television Directors' Association Ashoke Pandit has condemned the ban on The Kerala Story in West Bengal. Taking to Twitter on Monday, Ashoke also shared two brief clips. In one of the clips, actor Amitabh Bachchan spoke at an event in the state a few months ago. In the second clip, a person recorded a video on how the Kolkata Police shut down the screening of the movie. (Also Read | The Kerala Story director Sudipto Sen says a boy 'apologised for abusing' producer after watching film)

Ashoke Pandit spoke about West Bengal CM's decision to ban The Kerala Story in the state.
Ashoke Pandit spoke about West Bengal CM's decision to ban The Kerala Story in the state.

In a clip, Amitabh said, "But even now ladies and gentlemen, and I'm sure my colleagues on stage will agree, questions are being raised on civil liberties and freedom of expression. Since those early times, there have been many changes in cinema content."

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In another clip, a person sat inside a theatre and showed a blank screen. He said, "I am in Lake Mall Cinepolis right now. I've come to see the movie The Kerala Story at 10.55 pm show. Just after 15 minutes, the police has come here and they have asked to shut down the movie. The hall authorities are saying they will refund the movie tickets. It's house full, everyone is sitting over here...The ban is from tomorrow and these people are showing muscle power today."

Sharing the clip, Ashoke captioned the post, "Happening in the same state Bengal where Amitabh Ji few days back was raising the issue of Freedom of expression. Unfortunately today a thought-provoking film #TheKeralaStory is banned by the same CM sitting on the stage applauding to what Bachchan Sahab was saying. I wish and hope Industry together condemns this dictatorial attitude of Mamata Banerjee."

On Tuesday, speaking to news agency ANI, Ashoke said, "I condemn the banning of the film The Kerala Story by the West Bengal government. It's a big attack on the freedom of expression of a filmmaker. It is sending the wrong signal to the entire country."

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday ordered an immediate ban on the screening of the movie to avoid "any incident of hatred and violence". Reacting to it, The Kerala Story producer Vipul Shah said that they will take legal action against the ban imposed on the screening of the film in the state.

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