The movie ‘Aarakshan’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone is set to be released tomorrow and it is already banned in UP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. A movie which has been certified and passed by censor board to be viewed by public and strangled at the hands of politicians who claim to do it in the name of voice of people who have elected them. This form of political censorship is totally absurd and a outright abuse of the freedom of speech.

Aarakshan does touches the sensitive topic of reservation. It talks about a topic which undoubtedly is the most burning issue of this country and yet it is a subject which has been never actually discussed with an open mind. Not to say that the movie does anything substantial on it, but the director has the full right to create a movie which talks on sensitive topics. Freedom of expression and speech doesn’t stops at sensitive topics. When politicians themselves can use reservation as a topic to fuel their election campaigns in the name of supporting the minority, how can they restrict a movie maker who is trying to make his living from the subject and at the same time throwing light on the issue through the movie. A couple of dialogues are being touted as potential cause for riots and offensive to certain communities – are we really that immature ? Cinema has always been meant for entertainment. Even though it is a reflection of the society and its values, yet its intended purpose has always been entertainment. I am sure no rational person would feel offended and cause to break a riot for a few theatrical dialogues.

Aarakshan banned in 3 states

What amuses one even more is that few leaders/representatives of minority communities are asking film makers if they give roles to backward class people in movies ? So are we now talking about reservation quota in movies? Isn’t asking for reservation for a few communities a way of stark cast-ism in itself? Reservation was initially proposed to be a mean to help the backward classes and the oppressed; it makes one sad to see it has become merely a political agenda and a mean to create uproar for personal and political motives.

What’s needed is a stronger reaction from the film community and a greater sense of responsibility from the political parties by not treating reservation as a toy to play around and painting it on everything they can get their hands on. Let’s respect the censor board and accept their allowance for this movie and let the public decide the worth of the movie. It’s entertainment people, not politics !

PS: Let me know your views and whether you agree with the ban or not? Just to make it clear, my blog is not about supporting or opposing reservation, its about whether the ban is right or not.

PPS: Post your view on how the movie is if you watch it tomorrow. Is the movie really that electric to deserve all the bans ? I will write a review of the movie, once I watch it, in my upcoming blogs.

The views expressed are personal to those of the author.

Image: Courtesy IndianExpress