Earlier this week, Member of Parliament Sanjay Nirupam wrote a letter to the Central Board of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani stating that he would like to watch the Emergency-era film Indu Sarkar before it is censored because he wants to be sure that the party leaders “are not shown in bad light.” The film’s director, Madhur Bhandarkar, has responded.

“There is no question of showing the film,” he said. “It has to be seen by the censor board because there is an authority, the CBFC is authorised by the government of India. They will see the film. Let them decide it. Why would I show some political party? Tomorrow somebody will allege that she is Sanjay Gandhi’s daughter and send me a legal notice saying she wants to see the film. Mr Tytler wants his image to be shown clean in the film. So where do I stop? There is no end to it. Tomorrow somebody else will come and tell me to show me the film, this is completely absurd. Why do we have the censor board then? I personally feel that unreasonable demands are being made to show the film, which I am not going to show anybody until and unless it gets passed by the censor board. By anybody, I mean political parties.”

Responding to allegations by the Congress party that Indu Sarkar was a “sponsored film”, Bhandarkar had said in an interview to Scroll.in, “If it was a sponsored film, I would have had a big budget and a cast of big stars. 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?”

Indu Sarkar, starring Kirti Kulhari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Supriya Vinod, Anupam Kher and Tota Roy Chowdhury, will be released on July 28.

Madhur Bhandarkar.