Freedom of expression

‘Indu Sarkar’ director Madhur Bhandarkar to get police protection

Congress workers had forced the filmmaker to call off a press conference on the movie in Pune on Saturday.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has been assigned police protection following protests against his upcoming movie Indu Sarkar, NDTV reported on Monday. Four policemen – two during the day and two at night – have been deployed to protect the director.

“After Pune, I have had to cancel today’s press conference at Nagpur. Do you approve of this hooliganism?” Bhadarkar asked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Twitter. “Can I have my freedom of expression?”

On July 15, a protest by Congress workers had forced the filmmaker to cancel a press conference to promote his film in Pune.

Indu Sarkar is set during the 21-month-long Emergency. The movie’s main antagonist appears to be Sanjay Gandhi, who declares in the clip that “the Emergency will work not on emotions, but my orders”.

The Congress is also concerned about former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s portrayal in the July 28 release.

Party leader Sanjay Nirupam has demanded a special screening of the movie, though Bhandarkar has clarified that “70% of the film is fictional”.

“What is the problem if I make a film on the Emergency?” Bhandarkar told NDTV. “It was baffling to see self-proclaimed custodians of freedom of expression creating a huge ruckus.”

However, senior party leader Pawan Khera said the party has nothing to do with the protests.

The Central Board of Film certification has asked Bhandarkar remove words such as RSS and Akali from the movie. It has also suggested 12 cuts and adding two disclaimers.

Earlier, party leader Jagdish Tytler had also threatened Bhandarkar with legal action because of a character that appeared to be based on him.

Bhandarkar, however, had told that the movie was not intended to be a political one. “If it was a sponsored film, I would have had a big budget and a cast of big stars,” he had said. “I would have released the film before the 2019 elections or even before the recent elections in five states. Why would I release it now?”

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