No approval for film 'mocking' Mamata

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 17:05 hrs

Triggering a fresh controversy, the Central Board of Film Certification here denied approval to director Suman Mukhopadhyay's Bengali film 'Kangal Malsat' (War Cry of Beggars) for allegedly being criticial of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee, reports said on Monday.

The film has made references to several issues including the movement by the Chief Minister´s party in West Bengal´s Singur area against the Tata Motors´ Nano factory that forced the automobile major to relocate to Gujarat.

A total of 997 acres of land in Singur was given to the Tatas for their dirt-cheap Nano car factory by the previous Left Front government in 2006, triggering huge protest led by Mamata and supported by various civil society groups.

The film has also allegedly made fun of Mamata´s declaration to turn Kolkata to London, reports said.

"The regional office of the Central Board of Film Certification says swear words in the film, its sexuality, and a ´casual approach to social movements´ could hurt sentiments of people," NDTV reported.

Reacting on the matter, director Suman Mukhopadhyay told media: "As a filmmaker my primary responsibility is to reflect the contemporary things and I have all the rights as a filmmaker. As a citizen of this democratic country to talk about my opinion about some political event, some issues."

"So, I don´t know why this moral policing," he said.

The filmmaker has reportedly approached the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal in connection the issue.

Haranath Chakraborty, who is a member of the censor board, denied any political reason behind the issue.

"From beginning to end, the characters use offensive language," Chakraborty told The Hindu.

Kangal Malsat is based on the novel by writer Nabarun Bhattacharya.

Last year, state-run Star Theatre in north Kolkata stopped the screening of Agnideb Chattopadhyay´s Bengali film ´Teen Kanya´ on the grounds that it referred to the Park Street rape incident and also sent out an anti-state message.

Mamata later denied media reports that said her government had stopped the screening of the film at Star Theatre.

Interestingly, State Education Minister Bratya Basu had acted in ´Teen Kanya´.

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