Prakash Jha direction Aarakshan starring mega star Amitabh Bachchan, actors Saif Ali Khan, Prateik Babbar, Manoj Bajpayee and actress Deepika Padukone, that deals with the issue of caste-based reservation gets a U/A certificate by the Censor Board.
"AARAKSHAN GETS A CLEAN CHIT FROM THE CENSOR BOARD: SILENCES THE CRITICS. Aarakshan seen by Censors today and gets a UA Certificate without a single cut...that is something !!," Bachchan wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
"This speaks volumes about the responsibility and sensitivity with which the film has been written and directed. This certification should silence all critics who thought the film will upset sentiments of people from backward castes," he said.
Directed by Prakash Jha, Aarakshan is a socio-political drama based on caste-based reservations in government jobs and educational institutions. "There has been an immense amount of speculation regarding censorship of the film. This has stemmed mainly from parties that were concerned that the film would offend people of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes. Even anti-reservation groups were worried, the film may be too pro-reservation," Bachchan said.
Recently, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has demanded the screening of Aarakshan for them prior to its release on August 12. They had sent a notice to Censor Board regarding the issue. However, Censor Board did not comply with this notice and formulated an expert panel of its own to review the film.
"The examining committee had a total of nine members and two officials. Retired Justice Mr Mukul Mudgal, Chairperson of Censor Board Ms Leela Samson, Mr Pankaj Sharma, Dalit activist, Ms Rajni Tilak were expert committee members who came from Delhi. Examining committee comprised of members drawn from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled tribes and Other Backward castes," Big B said.
"Drawing on people who specialize in issues related to backward castes, and taking people from community itself to examine the film, is a very unusual and unprecedented move on the part of the Censor Board," he added.
Aarakshan has been facing a lot of opposition from the start. It had also faced the wrath of civic administration in Bhopal, when they bulldozed the sets of the film because it was erected on a disputed land. Then, a pro-Dalit group in Kanpur protested against the casting of royal Saif Ali Khan as a Dalit in the film. Dalit Suraksha Samiti had sent a letter to Jha, saying that getting someone like Saif Ali Khan, a blue blood, to play a Dalit, is an insult to their community.