Prakash Jha seems to have become a pro at courting controversy. Like many of his other movies in the past, Jha’s much awaited movie Aarakshan too has run into trouble just days before its release in the theatres. This time around it’s the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) which is creating problems for the director.
The story of Aarakshan, which stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar and Manoj Bajpai in the main roles, revolves around caste based reservations in government jobs and educational institutions.
The Commission had asked the filmmakers to arrange a screening for them before the movie releases. Apparently they wanted to make sure that the film does not misrepresent the constitutional laws on reservation. Jha however refused to abide by their demands. Now the NCSC has decided to stall the film’s release because Aarakshan is “against Dalit”. What is the basis of NCSC’s anti-Dalit claim is quite unclear though.
“aarakshan got UA censor without single cut .. read official release on it .. There were many that expressed apprehensions on aarakshan topic and content … all put to rest by Censors .. !!”……Amitabh Bachchan had tweeted on 18th July.
Reportedly, an I&B Ministry official said that the certificate was awarded after an examining committee, set up with representatives from the Dalit, OBC, SC and ST community reviewed the movie and unanimously agreed to clear it.
Jha’s earlier movies too were embroiled in all kinds of controversies. The screening of Gangaajal had been stopped in Bihar after theatres were vandalized by RJD party supporters. They believed the reel villain shared his name with Sadhu Yadav, the brother-in-law of Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav. The screening was resumed after Laloo Prasad Yadav gave his nod for the film.
Rajneeti was also initially denied a censor certificate because the censor board felt that the character played by Katrina Kaif was inspired from Congress Party’s chief, Sonia Gandhi.
It’s now for the audience to analyze whether this entire controversy is just another publicity stunt before the movie releases, or is “political goondaism” in India just growing by the day.