Stifling Padmavati

AN unseemly row has erupted over Padmavati. No film can and no film maker is obliged to appease the sentiments of a billion plus population. Instead, of providing safe passage to the release of Padmavati, several BJP-ruled states have joined hands with obscure outfits and self-appointed custodians of culture and history.

Stifling Padmavati

laxmi@tribune.com

AN unseemly row has erupted over Padmavati. No film can and no film maker is obliged to appease the sentiments of a billion plus population. Instead, of providing safe passage to the release of Padmavati, several BJP-ruled states have joined hands with obscure outfits and self-appointed custodians of culture and history. The UP CM's demand to postpone Padmavati’s release because it will disturb the law and order situation is self-defeating. He is giving undue credit to a Bollywood film. The UP CM has a responsibility to maintain law and order rather than give in to hooligans from fringe elements. 'Film will hurt religious sentiments’ is an alibi the politicians have misused for too long. This is a smokescreen to hide bigoted attitudes. 

As if the Padmavati row was not bad enough, the government has placed itself on the wrong side of the film fraternity. Even before the Goa film festival could kick-start, the government has pressed the delete button by dropping two films, duly selected by the eminent members of the jury who were handpicked by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Besides, Nude, which was to be the opening film of the Indian Panorama section, S Durga has also been axed. The unwarranted and undemocratic decision has forced three members of the jury, including well-known filmmaker and the jury head Sujoy Ghosh to resign. 

Even if it is conceded that these films contain some provocative content, how could I&B ministry overlook the fact that festival films are for evolved audiences who are intelligent enough to put things in proper perspective and context. Even otherwise, the right to reject a film, once cleared by the CBFC, must rest with the viewers. Much to the chagrin of those who champion artistic liberty, scuttling filmmakers’ right of expression has almost become a habit with the Centre. Creative freedom has been virtually under siege. Be it the IFFI row or the never-ending fracas over Padmavati, the government stance remains cussed; inexplicable and inexcusable. Cine enthusiasts who will be flocking to Goa seek a widening of horizons not myopic interpretation of cinematic values.

Top Stories

Delhi eases curbs from Monday; restaurants, shops, malls to reopen

Delhi eases curbs from Monday; restaurants, shops, malls to reopen

Schools, colleges, cinema halls, gyms, public parks to remai...

Monsoon arrives in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, 15 days ahead of schedule

Monsoon arrives in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, 15 days ahead of schedule

Seasonal rain has covered entire Uttarakhand, Himachal, Jamm...

Pradhan says Cong-ruled states should cut tax on petrol, diesel; mum on high taxes in BJP-ruled states

Pradhan says Cong-ruled states should cut tax on petrol, diesel; mum on high taxes in BJP-ruled states

Petrol and diesel have risen to an all-time high across the ...

War histories to be made public, but many caveats

War histories to be made public, but many caveats

Ministry of Defence approves policy on archiving, declassifi...

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal summoned by SIT in Kotkapura case

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal summoned by SIT in Kotkapura case

Badal was the CM when the police opened fire on protesters i...

Cities

View All