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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Moral Police vs Creative Independence. Which side of the fence is yours?

    We have been hearing about the recent movie Padmavathi, that has been facing the heat since the beginning of its making. There have been protests and sets destroyed while filming was in progress. Now since the buzz of it's release it's mired in controversy and objections.
    Now the screening of the film is postponed and in an ugly turn, a bounty is announced on the heads of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone.
    The groups against, claim that historical facts have been distorted and it portrays a queen in a bad light. The film federation claim that one should have the freedom to express one's creative side.

    Either way, we would bear the brunt of the violence, disturbances, and loss of property directly or indirectly. At least we can have a say in who's right or wrong.
  • #616214
    What about the creative independence of the authors of books like 'Lajja' or 'Satanic Verses'? Do they have that independence in India?
    Freedom of expression has certain limitations; and that limitation is not limited to particular communities.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616231
    In the name of creative Independence if one stoops to the level of distorting the history and showing things which was not happened and certainly hurting the sentiment amounts to arrogant mentality and the film makers have erred in this case. Why should they postpone the release when they are on right track. This proves that the protesters are right and their moral policing has saved the sentiments. Film producers must consult the religious heads and culture groups before going for such controversial movies . otherwise they would end up as looser in the long runs.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #616234
    Ther is a Censor Board which can decide on the matter of distortion of history. The protestors instead of taking to streets could have petitioned the Censor Board. Destroying the sets and causing loss to the person making the film is not good. The threats of life to the persons involved in the making of the film is taking the law into their hands. One BJP leader of Haryana went to the extent of doubling the bounty on the heroin Deepika Padukone. If such threats are made in public, what the Government is doing? The moral policing by some fringe groups is very dangerous. The earlier they are curtailed and punished, the better to the country.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616235
    ''Ther is a Censor Board which can decide on the matter of distortion of history.''-The statement is factually incorrect. Censor Board doesn't have the competence to judge distortion of history. It doesn't check the historical perspective.

    CBFC's duty is to ensure healthy entertainment, recreation and education to the public.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616243
    Who decides whether the picture portrays correct history or distorted history? Is it the mob outside? There should be a proper authority to take a decision on matters like this. This sort of moral policing unchecked by the Government is deplorable.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616248
    KVRR when the protest is overwhelming and spanning to other states, it may not be possible to be contained by the handful of police. That means the film producers should gauge the mistake they have done.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #616249
    How can you judge that the film producer has distorted the history? This protest is politically motivated. Rajasthan and UP wanted the release of the film delayed. They requested Mrs Smriti Irani to delay the release.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #616261
    While the very fact whether Rani Padmavati was real or was a fiction is a matter of debate, I don't understand why some groups are making a hue and cry about a movie that has been made on her story. I am not questioning the rights of any interested persons or groups to protest, but to give out a call to behead a creator or an actress is not acceptable. I don't see any logic in some people (like Partha at #616214) trying to justify such proclamations by drawing connections with such instances related to the 'other' (their single enemy) community's similar reactions at some point of time. Can we justify our wrongs by saying that someone else too had committed the same mistake? If that be the case, what is the difference between the two?

    I don't support moral policing. Let them approach the authorities for the needful. The Central Board of Film Certification does look into all aspects before certifying a film as fit for exhibition and if someone has a different opinion, he should approach the CBFC. And, I don't think most of these groups are in no way aware of the real facts- the only motivating factor for them is religion and caste.

    “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.”-Confucius

  • #616263
    It is good if everybody follows the suit. In India, it has become easy to contain only particular religion people. If those people talk anything they say they are taking the law into their hands. If something happens to other religion people in the name of minority or human rights protection everybody will be on the roads. This is the root cause of all these problems. But nobody bothers about that. The question of moral policing will not come if all the people follow a single system and all are governed by same rules. But unfortunately, that is not the case here. Definitely, if a film is made with distortion of the history, really the people will not accept that. If it is not a real story also if the author is trying to scapegoat a particular religion and caste why they should accept that. Don't aim at a particular religion or caste, then nobody will go into that direction. If the makers are trying to undermine a caste or a religion definitely people will revolt. The filmmakers should understand that.
    always confident

  • #616267
    Let an uneducated 'mango-man' express his opinion.
    (a) We should not discuss 'Padumabat' written by Malik Mohammad Joysi [which my father forced me to study while teaching me Saiyad Alaol's 'Moynamoti-r Kabyo' in History of Bengali Literature].
    (b) We must not discuss the impracticality of the scene where a Rajput queen was dancing in front of a Muslim attacker.
    (c) Let us not talk about the people's movement demanding ban of 'Lajja' or 'Satanic Verses'.
    (d) Let us talk only about the Government. When the Government can ban Lajja or Satanic Verses, the Government can use legal provision to ban the film titled 'Padmavati'. The Government must do this. The Government must be proactive.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616348
    It seems people are becoming more sensitive as more of their demands are met. The uneducated people who are not even aware of the Indian history come out as the leaders of their culture and defend them. Recently there was a News episode where the people who were opposing the movie were asked to tell a little about the history of Padmavati. All the anchor was able to get from them was a blank. Only the repeated chorus of doing violence and slut-shaming was the contribution that the community leaders were able to give in name of representing the history of their culture.

    Opinions of uneducated people are not what is going to make this country grow. It is only going to fuel a communal fire. Countering reasonable arguments with the "they did X wrong so we can do Y wrong" has become a mark of these present extremists. The truth is that at the end it is not a community who suffers, but rather a common man who gets trapped in between these scuffles who has to pay the price. One artist makes paintings of goddesses and he has to run out of the country, another artist draws an image and the whole newspaper office has to bear the brunt, a rationalist finds that tears from a statue are actually leakage from a drainage pipe and he has to leave the country to save his life.

    It has become very necessary for the open-minded educated people to come forward in public life and speak out against such extremism. Tolerance is the need of the hour. If you don't like a movie don't watch it, if you don't like a painting don't see, nobody is forcing you to do anything. If your feelings are hurt, learn to deal with it and protest in a peaceful way (if you are so free) without taking the law into your hand.

  • #616354
    #616348: An excellent response. I am deeply impressed! I hope the author would start a movement to lift the ban on a 58-page book which has been banned since 1927. The author can start a movement to lift ban on various books like Lajja or Satanic Verses.

    Let the Member start a movement to lift the long-standing ban on these books and then enrich others with his valuable advice.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616492
    I would like to resonate what eminent film maker Shyam Benegal said about the rising against Padmavati. Why can't we wait till the movie is released? Has anyone revolting against the movie seen it? It is a known fact that Bhansali neither allow scribes into his set nor he allows any photos or news to be leaked before the film is completed. If the whole uprising is based on the trailer that has been released, I must say that it is unfortunate. Moreover, we need to give credence to the disclaimers too. Why there is an effort to silence before the mouth is opened. Let us also be aware about the political agenda of the Karni Sena behind the issue, that is to bring all the Rajputs under a single umbrella. They could have chosen a better way out.

    Partha, why are you hanging on to Satanic Verses and Lajja? Argue out your point based on facts instead of trying to find solace by pointing fingers at the other side.

    “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.”-Confucius

  • #616494
    Excellent thoughts so far, I think most of us would agree on two things
    1. Object but choose a way that is civilized. Not threatening to kill a human, Incidentally, the heroine is being offered police protection in Bangalore.
    2. Is there a distortion of history . Let the historians check and then pass the message yes or no. If yes, then by all means debate whether it's needed to modify history or ask for such scenes to be deleted. If no, then let the movie run its show and then people can opine.

  • #616495
    I am only talking about the Government. Government must take pro-active action and ban Padmavati just it banned Lajja, Satanic Verses, etc. It should be banned because it has the capability to cause violence and unrest in society.

    If Banshali didn't allow anybody, then how and why do we watch that dance sequence (which is extremely insulting to the Rajputs) in every channel?

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616501
    Is creative independence applicable only to certain sections and only when the 'independence' is used against certain sections?
    Earlier such intrusions, misinterpretations, intimidation, insinuations and irreverence with regard to matters of tradition, habit and texts of only certain section were silently, and meekly accepted by that or those sections out of their magnanimity or out of their helplessness because all the powers be were conspiring against them, but the awarenes did not get down to the victims.
    Now that there has come an awareness that the 'freedom of expression' and 'creative independence' was used only as against a particular section, and he victims started raising objections, the perpetrators felt challenged as not hitherto.
    The actually biased, but self-proclaimed 'independents' are turning blind, deaf and dumb when similar independence of expression is 'punished' if directed against some other sections in this country or in other parts of the world. They simply go hiding then.

    The problem now is that people have discovered and proved the bigotry and hypocrisy of the so-called 'free and creative expressions'. These expressions and the adamancy behind them give doubt that they have some hidden agenda or some hidden hands pushing them.

  • #616517
    Mr. Partha, just to clarify, are you justifying the threats that were issued against Mr. Bhansali and the actress?

  • #616521
    Ms. Neethu: Where have I said the threats are justified? I have merely stated that Government must be proactive and straightaway ban the film to prevent any chance of violence or any untoward incident, just what Government did at the time of Lajja or Satanic Verses.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616547
    I don't think movie should be banned as it is a collective effort and dream of many people. Banning a movie would destroy the dreams and livelihood of many people. Moreover my opinion is that instead of banning the movie why no action has been taken against people who have openly threatened against the actress and director.

    A movie is not history for people to take it so seriously.

  • #616552
    The movie is a collective effort of ridiculing the majority community. So, it must be banned.

    Ms. Neethu: I would like to know your reaction when Owaisi brothers and their pet hooligans heckled and physically assaulted a lady named Taslima Nasreen some years back in Hydrabad? As a lady, how did you react against the molestation of another lady? Or were you observing silence after the incidence?

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616603
    "they did X wrong so we can do Y wrong" - the typical language of trolls.
    It does not matter whether somebody has raised a voice earlier or not. If there is a wrong happening, you can raise your voice whenever you want, irrespective of your past history.

  • #616606
    To prevent the possibility of anything wrong likely to happen in future due to controversial and insulting characterisation of Padmavati, the Government must ban the film before its release.

    Prevention is always preferred.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616607
    The CBFC has now clarified that it will seek the opinion of historians before taking a decision on issuing a certificate to the movie. People with inclined minds may come up against historians too if they say that there is nothing wrong in the depiction; we can't help it, though, taking into consideration the center of power, we will have to wait and see (unless some miracle happens) who the historians in the panel would be.

    I don't know why Partha forgot to mention M F Hussain when he could repeatedly take the names of Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen for the convenience of augmenting his argument.

    “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.”-Confucius

  • #616610
    In case of MF Hussain, (poetic) justice was ensured and the artist had to live his last days in exile.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616733
    Breaking news: Gujarat Government bans exhibition of Padmavati in the state cinema halls. Bad days start for Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Many other state governments (including Congress-ruled Punjab) would follow suit.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #616743
    Mr.Saji Ganesh, glad to hear that CBFC will seek the inputs of historians at least they are thinking like us with common sense. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have banned the movie. The sad part of all this drama is the fact that whatever is the truth, the damage has already been done. The sentiments are so high that state after state wants a ban.
    The other point that comes to my mind is Public figures have to be cautious and extra careful when dealing with delicate issues that can hurt the sentiments of a certain community or religion. Sadly the responsibility of public figures have changed and here, the list of people would include the makers of the movie, the CBFC which apparently had the movie with it for some time.

  • #616776
    The latest news is that the Karni Sena has declared that they will not object to release of the movie if the Royal family does not have any objection to its release. So why was this drama staged after all? Why did not wisdom prevail before? We need to be wary of such people who look for cheap publicity and are driven by political motives.
    “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.”-Confucius

  • #616906
    The movie has got a British censor of 12A from BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) without any cuts.

  • #616950
    Since the query is about moral policing vs creative independence, I feel that it won't be out of context to mention about the Malayalam feature film S Durga by Sanilkumar Sashidharan. The film, which has already been exhibited in a few International film festivals and has been much appreciated. was denied permission to be exhibited at the India International Film Festival at Goa by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The director approached the High Court and got a favorable decree and the ministry of I and B was questioned by the Hon'ble Judiciary. The ministry, due to reasons best known to the Hon'ble Minister, as has been said, decided to challenge the single bench order. The division bench has set aside the plea of the ministry to stay the single bench order though the petition was admitted for hearing. What I mean to say is that, creativity is being guided these days. Either you take the path we have cleared or face the ire seem to be the slogan.
    “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.”-Confucius

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