Friday, August 12, 2011

[ZESTCaste] After ban threat, 'Aarakshan' will be caste anew

Divisive politics

After ban threat, 'Aarakshan' will be caste anew
Chandigarh/Hyderabad, Aug 11, DHNS:

The governments of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday joined Uttar
Pradesh in banning the screening of the controversial Hindi film
''Aarakshan'' which deals with the sensitive issue of reservation.

But hours ahead of the release of the socio-political drama,
'Aarakshan' director Prakash Jha agreed to delete certain
controversial scenes and dialogues which pro-rese­rvationists said
could harm the interests of the educationally backward classes. Jha
also entered into a deal with the Republican Party of India (RPI) to
ensure that the film is released without any hitches in UP and Punjab.

The Punjab government banned the release of the film apprehending law
and order problems after getting intelligence inputs that some scenes
and dialogues in the film could inflate tempers. The Akali Dal-BJP
combine government said the ban will remain in force till the
seven-member screening committee set up by the state government
previewed the movie and submitted its report, which could be out as
early as Friday.

With Assembly elections less than six months away, the state
government is not willing to take any chance. But Chairman of the
National Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairman P L Punia said, "The
main theme of the movie is about commercialisation of education
followed by several objectionable dialogues against people from
backward communities. There is no discussion on reservation in its
second half. We have asked the censor board to make necessary changes
in it".

In Hyderabad, the government imposed the ban on the film's release
following the opinion of a committee which previewed the film and
concluded that certain scenes in the movie could be objectionable to
weaker sections of the society.

Earlier, leaders of Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Welfare
Association led by Congress leader Mallu Ravi, called on DGP Dinesh
Reddy and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy demanding a ban on the
film. They also demonstrated before the secretariat and the DGP's

However, "Aarakshan" will be released without hassles in Jaipur on
Friday. A special screening of the movie was organised and the caste
outfits, Sri Rajput Karani Sena and Sarva Brahmin Mahasabha, withdrew
their objection to the movie after two controversial dialogues, which
the organisations objected to, were deleted.

"The audio of the objectionable dialogues has been deleted from the
movie. Thus, our protest is withdrawn," said Pundit Suresh Mishra,
president of the Sarva Brahmin Maha Sabha. Also the members were
satisfied with the movie's stand that it not at all affects the
reservation demand raised by these outfits for upper castes.

"We were suspicious that the movie talks about no-reservation policy
for the general category castes. But the movie has nothing as such,"
said Syam Pratap Singh, state coordinator of the Karani Sena.


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