Days after a group of left-wing students damaged and blackened a bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee in Kolkata, a film on the BJP ideologue got a U/A certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification on Monday.
Yes! director Milan Bhowmik's upcoming flick 1946 Calcutta Killings, showcasing Syama Prasad Mukherjee in the central character is finally going to hit the theatres on April 14 across India. The movie had been stuck with the CBFC since September 2016.
1946 Calcutta Killings, which will be also released in Bengali as Danga The Riot, got the clearance after a few cuts by the CBFC.
"The CBFC's Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has asked me to cut one comment about Jawaharlal Nehru uttered by the character of Muhammad Ali Jinnah that him in poor light and I agreed," Bhowmik told PTI.
The story of the much-awaited movie revolves around the widespread communal rioting between Hindus and Muslims, that broke out in Kolkata from August 16, 1946. The clash had claimed thousands of innocent lives in the city.
Bhowmik said he had appealed to the FCAT in early 2017 after the CBFC's Kolkata and Mumbai offices refused to grant a certificate to the film. CBFC has accused the makers of showcasing derogatory comments about certain political figures of the time and might cause communal disharmony.
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On May 8, 2017, the FCAT suggested some changes and directed the CBFC to come to a decision after Bhowmik submitted the film with necessary cuts. It was sent back to FCAT in July and a nod was given.
"My film has not glorified riots. People from different communities had been killed in the riots in 1946. My aim is to make people aware of the perpetrators of such acts and to educate the youth about the dangers of riots. I think I was able to explain this to the tribunal members and they understood. Neither are we glorifying any political group or vilifying any community," the director said.
The makers have also put a disclaimer stating that the movie was aimed at educating the youth about dangers of communal violence.
In the film, former Film and Television Institute of India Chairman, Gajendra Chauhan, is essaying the role of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
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The movie will have special screenings for invited guests in three BJP-ruled states - Tripura on April 4, in Assam on April 8 and in Jharkhand on April 12. It will also be screened in Kolkata on April 10.
(With inputs from agencies)