People have become so sensitive in India that every little thing pricks them.
Prakash Jha, director of Satyagraha, and the film’s lead actor Amitabh Bachchan talk about how the paucity of political films in India is linked with increasing intolerance and hypersensitivity in the country, in a candid session moderated by Deputy Editor Kunal Pradhan. Excerpts: India Today ( IT) Why are hardly any political films made in the country, at least for mass audiences? Amitabh Bachchan There has always been hesitancy, either personally from the maker or the censors, to name people or parties though there are documentaries that have done it. IT Isn’t this self- inflicted? Can’t the industry tell political parties they have no business censoring content? Bachchan I shouldn’t be saying it but I will: People have become so sensitive in India that every little thing pricks them. They feel that because it’s a sensitive issue, they’re going to get prominence by speaking about it. Sometimes political parties bring up issues. They say you can’t say this or show this, and producers are compelled to comply for the sake of the release of the film. To buy peace, to avoid time being wasted, it’s something we have to bear with. IT Prakash Jha, while your early films were undiluted, why do they now contain Bollywood must- haves such as item songs and love stories? Prakash Jha What governs my storytelling is that it should be palatable for a larger commercial audience. A
PRAKASH JHAAND AMITABH BACHCHAN