With India voting for Lok Sabha elections 2019, films have become the newest campaign runners in this season of polarised politics. After quite a buzz on social media over 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi', a film on PM Modi's life, reports on the release of another biopic inspired by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee - 'Baghini - Bengal Tigress', is doing rounds on social networking sites.
While the Election Commission (EC) of India has banned the screening of the Vivek Oberoi-starrer biopic 'PM Narendra Modi' during poll period, 'Baghini' is reportedly slated for a May 3 release. Helmed by Nehal Dutta, the Bengali film, has also obtained the Central Borad of Film Certification (CBFC) nod during this ongoing poll season.
Though Dutta claims that his film is not a biopic but a story of an ordinary girl's rise to the CM's chair, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday dashed a letter to the Election Commission, asking the poll panel to review the biopic before its release, as done in the case of another biopic depicting PM Narendra Modi.
In its letter to the poll body, the BJP wrote, "This is to draw your attention to the news in the media that a biopic allegedly of Smt. Mamata Banerjee will be released on 3 May 2019. (Name: Baghini)".
"Bharatiya Janata Party requests the Hon'ble Election Commission of India and its representative in West Bengal and the CEO to review the said biopic before release, on similar lines that was done by the Hon'ble Election Commission in the case of another biopic depicting Shri Narendra Modi," it added.
BJP writes to Election Commission over alleged biopic of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee named 'Baghini' pic.twitter.com/vWZ3FICCqi— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2019
Early in the month, the EC banned the screening of the 'PM Narendra Modi', saying any such film that subserves the purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media.
Meanwhile, speaking on the storyline of 'Baghini', Dutta told India Today, "Unlike Modi's film, ours is not a biopic. You can say we have been inspired by her (Mamata Banerjee). She is an iconic figure. It is an emotional story about women's empowerment".
"Be it Sarojini Naidu or a Jayalalitha, they have their own story to tell and it should inspire women all over the country," Pinky Pal, the producer and screenwriter of Baghini said. "There is nothing as such which can affect political sentiments. We have got universal certificate and everybody can watch the film. There is no propaganda here," she added.
Earlier, the Opposition CPIM has also submitted a petition to the Election Commission seeking a ban on the movie - Baghini.
Under production since 2015, the film features theatre actor Ruma Chakraborty, who will be seen playing the lead role, namely Indira Banerjee, a character inspired by the life of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. The official trailer of the movie shows Banerjee's journey from a brave and valiant girl to the cheif minister of West Bengal in May 2011.
In November 2018, Banerjee’s biography titled 'Didi: The Untold Mamata Banerjee' hit the bookstalls across India. Released by Penguin India, the book traces Banerjee’s college days, her struggles before she became the chief minister of Bengal, her unique style of politics and Trinamool Congress' commendable victory over Left Front dispensation which ruled the state for about 34 years.