Students of Aligarh Muslim University and the Millat Bedrai Muhim Committee have opposed the release of Hansal Mehta’s movie Aligarh in the city. The MBMC has sought to have the film’s name changed in a memorandum submitted to the Centre. Leaders of the AMU Students Action Committee Shikoh and Fahim Akhtar said they plan to lodge an FIR against Mehta after convocation. “We will not allow anybody to defame Aligarh. He should give some other title to this film,” they said, adding that the movie portrays Aligarh in the wrong light, Hindustan Times reported.
Jasim Mohammed of the MBMC said the committee had an objection only with the title of the film, but not with the movie itself, according to ANI. “In future, the name of Aligarh will be associated with homosexuality,” he said. Mayor of Aligarh Shakuntala Bharti questioned whether it was a “conspiracy to defame the city”. “Why is the film titled Aligarh? The movie is based on same-sex love and that is not Aligarh. We cannot encourage defamation of a city,” she said, adding that she will not let the film run in the city at any cost.
Earlier, Mehta had said that his movie dealt more with the “importance of one’s right to privacy” than homosexuality. Aligarh is based on the life of AMU professor Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was filmed having consensual sex by local journalists who had broken into his house in 2009. Siras was suspended by the university, but he won the job back after he took the matter to court. However, he was found dead in his apartment a week after he was reinstated.