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Ignoring CBFC and Court verdict over a film - NO, this is not happening for the first time! (Articles on Cinema By Bobby Sing)

24 Jan, 2018 | Articles on Cinema

The country’s Central Board of Film Certification passes a film with the necessary cuts and changes convincing the producer/director. The court further rejects petitions filed by persons or organizations asking for a ban on the film. And yet the people are on road protesting against the release in front of the theaters, vandalizing property and successfully forcing the distributors or theater owners to rethink about showing the film in their premises creating a scary chaos.
If you think it never happened before and is being probably reported for the very first time, then that’s not true, as there are not just one or two, but many similar instances in the history of our cinema, that at times even resulted in the complete films lying in cans remaining unreleased forever. To be clear, here we are not talking about films duly censored but not released, due to various issues of distribution (including the fear of public outrage), like the most recent S DURGA (Malayalam/2017). The write-up is about the films that got normally censored and released but then witnessed a huge public revolt and had to be taken off by the theater owners.
Interestingly, we don’t need to go back many years or decades to quote a relevant example. Just a couple of years back a biographical film on the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak titled NANAK SHAH FAKIR got duly censored and released (in Punjabi-Hindi). But the theaters couldn’t run it after one or two shows as many radical Sikh organisations and groups strongly protested against the film for their own reasons and it was taken off. Unfortunately, it never returned back to the screen and remains unavailable at any online portal too till date.
Exactly same scenario was witnessed in the case of another censored film SANTA BANTA PVT LTD (2016) presenting two of its lead characters as Sikhs in a comical tone which was widely opposed by the community and it had to be taken off on the very first day from the theaters in some specific regions.
Writing about these most recent films, I personally recall similar cases witnessed decades back in the 80s when Manoj Kumar released his KALYUG KI RAMAYAN, changing its title to KALYUG AUR RAMAYAN, also re-recording one of its opposed songs. Before that the same happened with Dara Singh, when he released his Punjabi film SAWA LAKH SE EK LADAUN in the mid-70s after a similar change of title.
Having said that, we still have a few ‘first’ associated with the latest controversy of PADMAVATI as given below:
1. There have been many title changes in the past post the objections raised. But a weird change of gender from PADMAVATI to PADMAAVAT (as if it means an entirely different name) is probably the first ever case in the history of Indian Cinema.
2. It is really concerning to see the violent agitations and vandalizing of property by revolting groups going on for days without any strong action, control or measures taken by the state or police authorities (as never heard before).
3. But above all, this time we have the state governments filing a plea, asking the court to reconsider lifting the proposed ban on the film as it can lead to serious law and order issues in their respective regions.
Perhaps never before there has been such a case where the state governments have openly expressed their inability or incompetence in controlling such violent radical groups, raising many serious questions on the system and their willingness to take action, as pointed by the honorable Supreme Court.

Give it a thought! 

(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in January 2018)

Tags : Agitations ignoring CBFC & Court’s verdict over a film by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema By Bobby Sing, Hindi Cinema taken for granted.
24 Jan 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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