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Mayawati Govt. bans Aarakshan release for two months in UP

Posted By: Kalyani Prasad Keshri
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The Mayawati Government yesterday put a ban on the upcoming Friday release, Prakash Jha's controversial Hindi film Aarakshan, in Uttar Pradesh for two months on the grounds that it would create law and order problems in the state. The decision on the ban of the film was taken following a recommendation by a high level official committee set up by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Government.

The committee comprised of principal secretaries of finance, information, higher education and rural developments, and an official of entertainment tax committee watched Aarakshan and submitted their reports to the state government last evening. After the screening, the National Commission for Schedule Castes, objecting to 'derogatory ways' the backward community has been featured, asked the Censor Board to make necessary changes in the film before it releases in UP. Hours later, the UP government declared a ban on the release of Aarakshan.

"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," NCSC chairman PL Punia told PTI in Delhi.

Senior Maharashtra Minister and OBC leader Chaggan Bhujbal also objected certain scenes and dialogues in the film. "Some scenes and dialogues in the film are objectionable and the film can be released after deleting them," Bhujbal told after the special screening of Aarakshan, which was arranged by Jha in Mumbai.

Under Clause 6 (1) of the state films regulation act, UP government has put a ban on the screening of Aarakshan for two months on the grounds of law and order problems. The committee viewed that the film's dialogues may give rise to the feeling of hatred in the society, which may lead to reverse reactions. It also viewed that Aarakshan needs some major changes and revisions, keeping in mind the sensibilities of the backward communities in the country.

Punia quoted an objectionable dialogue, “Aarakshan hamara janamsiddh khairat hai and 50 per cent mein kya hoga, ab 100 per cent quota le jao," which he reasoned is a mockery of the judgements made by the makers, the courts and the government that have passed the film for the release. Punia informed that they have requested them to make the necessary changes and now it is up to the makers to make it or not. He added that we cannot go ahead and fight for it.

Prakash Jha's direction Aarakshan stars mega star Amitabh Bachchan, actors Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar and Manoj Bajpayee. The film has passed the Censor Board test, wherein a panel of nine member gave U/A certificate to the film without any cuts. On the other hand justifying the ban on Aarakshan the UP Government viewed that the film has various characters in the film who are in favour or against the reservation provided to SC/ST and backward classes under the Constitution.

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