MUMBAI: Producer – director Prakash Jha’s new movie Aarakshan, which deals with the issue of reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, has been passed by the Censor Board with a U/A certificate.
There was pressure on Jha to show the film to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes prior to the release. The National Commission for Minorities and National Commission of Scheduled Castes and Dalit bodies had asked for a special screening of the movie to see if the film didn’t misinterpret the constitutional provision for reservations of the socially backward classes. The Commission sent a notice to the Censor Board that the film should not be cleared by without its approval.
However, the Censor Board did not comply with this notice. Instead it formulated an expert panel of its own to review the film. The Censor board set up a committee of experts, who were especially flown down from Delhi to examine the film. The examining committee had a total of nine members and two officials.
Retired Justice Mukul Mudgal, Chairperson of the Censor Board Leela Samson, Pankaj Sharma, Dalit activist Rajni Tilak were the expert committee members who came from Delhi. The examining committee further comprised members drawn from the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and other backward castes.
"Aarakshan gets a clean chit from the Censor Board: Silences the critics. Aarakshan seen by Censors today and gets a U/A Certificate without a single cut," Bachchan wrote on Twitter.
"This speaks volumes about the responsibility and sensitivity with which the film has been written and directed. This certification should silence all critics who thought the film will upset sentiments of people from backward castes. National Commission for Scheduled Castes sent notice to Censor Board that the film should not be cleared by Censor Board without the approval of the Commission. However, Censor Board did not comply with this notice. Instead, it formulated an expert panel of its own to review the film," Bachchan said.
The movie stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar and Manoj Bajpai and is slated to release on 12 August, 2011.