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Prakash Jha forced to succumb on 'Aarakshan'


7 Apr 2011
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NEW DELHI: Forced to succumb in the face of threats and bans from several parts of the country, filmmaker Prakash Jha today made certain changes in the film following allegations that his film was anti-Dalit or has questioned the reservation policy.

Asked about this, Jha said in a telephonic conversation with indiantelevision.com: 'I am in firefighting mode - cannot talk now. But can anyone show a thought-provoking film in this country without being forced to make changes?'
While the Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh Governments have already placed bans on the release of the film, controversies have also erupted in the Maharashtra and Bihar assemblies.
The Andhra Government, in its order, said that the film may hurt sentiments of weaker sections. It also said that the exhibition of the film can "lead to protests and agitations, leading to breach of the peace and tranquility in the State. "

Hence the court has directed the suspension of "the exhibition of the Hindi film Aarakshan initially for a period of one week or till a final decision is taken on the report of the Committee constituted for the purpose, whichever is earlier ".
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes had said yesterday that Jha 's film should only be released after some changes are made. The Commission, which saw the film, objected to the "derogatory way" the backward community has been represented in the film. The Commission asked the Central Board for Film Certification to review necessary changes in the film before its Friday release.
But NCSC Chairman P L Punia had admitted to indiantelevision.com that the NCSC could not go any further than requesting the CBFC to make cuts. It was now up to the Board to take a decision, and 'we are not going to fight.
He said: "The main theme of the movie is about commercialisation of education followed by several objectionable dialogues against people from backward communities. There is no discussion on reservation in its second half."

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