The Indian Supreme Court has extended its stay on the orders passed by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand banning the screening of Jodhaa Akbar .
The stay extension came on a petition filed by the producer, UTV Software Communication who alleged that the film was banned by Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand governments after a section of the people objected to the alleged wrong
depiction of some historical characters in the film. The ban in Madhya Pradesh was lifted by the High Court.
The petitioner said, the fundamental right to speech and expression is being trampled upon by various State governments with the sole objective of gaining political mileage by banning the film. All approvals were obtained from the authorities,
including the Censor Board, before releasing the film.
Offsite: Against Street Censorship
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from the Hindu
by Rishi Vohra
The recent violence in some States over Jodhaa Akbar raises the question: Should public intolerance be allowed to hijack a medium that is exclusively the director’s space?
In his latest offering Jodhaa Akbar , director Ashutosh Gowarikar made a savvy decision in focusing on the religious tensions between Akbar’s court, full of traditional Islamists, and the Hindu Rajput c ulture of Jodhaa. Without taking sides, the
maverick filmmaker wisely portrays Akbar as a secular force who wants to see “Hindustan’s” great religions coexist side by side. However, despite Gowarikar’s effective efforts in maintaining that balance, there was seen a streak of intolerance towards
what some claim to be an inaccurate, rehashed version of historical facts.
Even before its release, the film invited the ire of certain groups and was subsequently banned in several States. Noted historians have claimed that the basis of the movie, the relationship between Jodhaa and Akbar, is completely faulty and incorrect.
The Rajput groups of India are arguing that the name Jodhaa was the name of Jehangir’s wife.
Considering that Indian films are X-rayed by the stringent Indian Censor Board, is it appropriate for films to be subjected to further censorship demands and bans based on public intolerance? After all, should not the Censors be the ultimate authority in
deciding what content is suitable for public viewing?
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