Films with Modi references hit censor wall
A semi-fictional feature film, Modi Ka Gaon, explores and extols Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rural development schemes. The actor playing the prime minister has an uncanny resemblance to Modi.
Another Bollywood movie, the late actor Om Puri’s last, has a character that apparently looks like Modi. Besides, Rambhajjan Zindabad is laced with beefy dialogues and an “overdose” of politics.
Both films — due for release this February — face The PSLV-C37 rocket blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra’s Sriharikota on Wednesday. India successfully put 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit in the latest triumph for its space programme, smashing a record previously held by Russia. objections from the censor board.
The board has asked the makers of Modi Ka Gaon to get a “no objection certificate” from the prime minister’s office (PMO) as well as the Election Commission.
That’s a first since no film has been apparently asked before to get a pre-screening approval from the PMO.
“We submitted an application to the PMO on February 8 and waiting for its reply. But it’s nearly impossible to get a clearance from the Election Commission,” producer Suresh Jha said. The poll panel’s clearance is required for the film’s release because of assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh. Screening a movie with a dead ringer of a character for Modi and a title that hints at the prime minister could violate the code of conduct in place during polls. The censors have asked the makers of the low-budget movie to snip out the word “Pappu” from a character’s name, Jha said.
The filmmakers alleged that censor board chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani has put several conditions without watching the film.
Jha said they would approach the high court, if required.
Nihalani challenged the moviemakers to prove if his objections weren’t lawful.
“Anybody using a celebrity or a public figure’s name in a film is required to produce an NOC. Modi Ka Gaon has been cleared without any major cuts and they only need the PMO’s approval.”