Anil Mehta: Did not anticipate the country-wide furore
Anil Mehta, director of the movie "Aaja Nachle", says he did not anticipate the country-wide furore over a line of one of the songs in his movie and clarifies that the film is not about discrimination.
"If you look at the spirit of the film, it isn't about discrimination. It's about the participation of people from all walks of life," he said.
The Yashraj Films decided Saturday to delete from the film's title song the offensive line "Mohalle mein kaisi maara-mar hai, bole mochi bhi khud ko sunar hai", which apparently hurt the sentiments of Dalits after the movie was banned in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.
Calling the producers' move a justified action, the director said, "I'm not aware of more politically correct terms for these professionals. But we've taken a very simple stance. If the line has offended such a large section of people, so much so that a chief minister needed to take a position on it, then we have no reservations about deleting that line."
"As I said 'Aaja Nachle' isn't about discrimination but collective participation. The offending line has been physically cut from every print in the country," he added.
When asked why they deleted the line from every print in the country, Mehta said, "If the ramifications are caste-oriented, we can't discriminate between a state that objects or doesn't object. If we remove it in one state, then we must remove it everywhere."
"This is the producers' decision. We had never intended it to be objectionable to any one in the first place. Apparently, the ban in UP has already been lifted."
Talking about the film, Mehta said the shooting of the movie was not done on any location but was done on the sets in Mumbai by creating a fictional town.
"We created it on a set in Mumbai. And if people thought it was a location, that's a big compliment. I checked out towns like Bhopal and Indore. Lots of real construction material was used on the sets. We wove in the chaos and confusions of a small town into our fictional town," he said.
The director rejected the notion that women-centric films don't become successful. "Let's not be hasty. Let's wait for a week (to see the response of the film)," he said.