Politicians Use Films As Pawns, Meanwhile Art Suffers

Posted by Surabhi Pandey in Culture-Vulture, Society
February 14, 2018

Generally, when I feel overwhelmed by anything going on in our country, I react to it. I react by writing about it because that is the only way I know. When the entire “Padmaavat” fiasco was going down, I did not write a piece on it. I may have referred to it in some of the pieces I wrote during that period, but I chose not to write anything about it directly.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because I felt frustrated on reading the news every day. So frustrated that I felt like why write an opinion in a country where it doesn’t even matter.

Do you know in the entire episode what baffled me the most? The Karni Sena coming out after the release of the movie and saying, “We withdraw the protests as the movie does not offend Rajputs in any way!” That is what the point was throughout, wasn’t it? At least wait for something to come out, watch it and then react. People started torturing the makers since the time of shooting!

And, this has not happened for the first time in our country. From “Black Friday” to “Udta Punjab” and “Lipstick Under My Burkha” to “Aligarh” – I can go on with the list. But, have you noticed how only socially relevant films suffer the wrath of the censor board?  What happens to the morally and politically correct CBFC when cheap films like “Kya Kool Hain Hum” and “Great Grand Masti” are released without any cuts and controversies?

Well, everything said and done – we all know that there are political motivations behind creating trouble for a certain kind of movie. Irrespective of the fact that there can be serious repercussions of these decisions, some sets of people just recklessly create nuisance eventually leading to the violation of Article 19 (a) and a lot of unnecessary violence. When the Constitution of India gives us freedom of expression, what gives these people the right to come judge us and stop us?

As if we have a dearth of issues that make our heads hang in shame and embarrassment in the international diaspora! We keep coming across a new one each day. Why do these bizarre things keep happening in our country? Have we totally lost it? Why does a film production house need to hide the waist of an actress (via VFX) in a song?

Politicians use community leaders as pawns, and sadly they fall into their trap every single time leading to unnecessary chaos and loss of money, time and resources. I remember watching that one young “Rajput leader’ (do not want to glorify him, so won’t take his name) on every single prime-time debate show yelling and screaming at anchors, pitching all sorts of irrelevant pleas to defend himself and as I like to call it (the koi bhalai nahi) Karni Sena! It is sad that even after 70 years of independence, our voices and our art are not completely unrestricted.