Utpal Borpujari

November 5, 2008

Censor Board rubbishes allegation by filmmaker of pandering to Maratha sentiments

By Utpal Borpujari

In what could be a case of trying to get undue publicity riding on the MNS-North Indian controversy, the maker of Deshdrohi, a low-budget Hindi film, has accused the “Marathi-dominated” Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of being biased against it, a charge the latter has rubbished.

Kamaal Rashid Khan, producer-lead actor of the Jagdish Sharma-directed film has claimed that the film was initially not given certification by the Censor Board for its “direct lashing out” at Maharashtrians for their “hate Campaign” against people from UP and Bihar.

”The film faced a lot of displeasure from the Censor Board which was expected since the Board is dominated by Marathi speaking people, whom the film points a direct finger at,” Khan has claimed, adding the film is based on his “personal experience of discrimination” as a North Indian in Maharashtra.

But Vinayak Azaad, CBFC’s regional officer in Mumbai, rubbished the accusation. “Majority of the members who saw the film, including the examining officer of CBFC, were non-Maharashtrians. We have a responsibility towards the civic society and do not take sides,” he told Sakaal Times.

“We had similar reservations in the case of a Marathi film called Aamchi Mumbai,” he said, refuting the allegations.

Khan, in a statement, claimed that the Censor Board stalled the film for “three to four months”, and gave a UA certification to it only after the makers approached the appellate court.

Sources close to the film’s making told Sakaal Times that it had dialogues that could raise passions, but Khan said some of the Board’s objections were “absolutely ridiculous”.

“For example they took objection to  scene where the protagonist says that ‘’Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Shivaji Maratha never said they were North Indians, South Indians or West Indians. All of them said we are Indians and India is one’,” said Khan.

The film, being released nationwide on November 14, has the likes of Hrishitaa Bhatt, Rozza Catalano, Prem Chopra, Shakti Kapoor, Kader Khan, Ravi Kishan, Chunky Pandey, Nirmal Pandey, Gracy Singh and Kim Sharma in its cast. Its promos have been running on television channels for some time but have to evoke much curiosity.

(Published in Sakaal Times, www.sakaaltimes.com, http://epaper.sakaaltimes.com, 05-11-2008)



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