Supreme Court assures police protection to theater owners in Gujarat
The controversy over the ban of Aamir Khan’s film Fanaa in Gujarat has been in the news ever since the movie released on 26 May. Since then the film industry as well as the various political parties embroiled in the tussle have been verbally badgering each other. The controversy began due to Aamir Khan’s support for the Narmada project affected people. Recently though the entire film industry supported Aamir and his stance on the issue. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt even filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court to allow the screening of the film Fanaa in Gujarat.
The Supreme Court delivered good news as well bad news for the makers of Fanaa who have been anxiously waiting to screen Fanaa in Gujarat. While the court claimed that it could do nothing regarding the unofficial ban on the film, it definitely went ahead to assure the makers that if any theaters wished to screen the film, they were entitled to and would definitely receive security to avoid any untoward incidents. Later in the day a press conference was held by the director, Kunal Kohli and Aamir Khan. Director of the film Kunal said “All theater owners or exhibitors in Gujarat who wish to release this film can request for protection and the government should extend support. We as filmmakers request all theater owners of Gujarat to come forward and release the film. We have lost around 6-7 crores due to the film not releasing in Gujarat, but this is not about money, it is about a matter of principle.”
However most people in the industry feel that political parties are behind the fact that theater owners have refused to release the film in Gujarat. According to most people in the film industry, political parties are manipulating people and theater owners are being threatened. Director Kunal also claimed that the ban in Gujarat was responsible for promoting piracy, as many people in Gujarat who want to watch the film are buying pirated vcd’s. Gujarat is also the third highest state from which huge profits come in after Mumbai and Delhi, hence the ban is leading to major losses for the producers.
Aamir Khan who spoke to the media at the press conference said “It is now left up to the BJP and other political parties to uphold the decision given by the Supreme Court of peacefully allowing theaters to screen Fanaa if they wished to. It is the decision of the party to allow democracy to prevail and adhere to the Indian constitution.” He also claimed that earlier theater owners in Gujarat who wished to screen the film were not given police protection, and it was left to be seen if the Supreme Court actually kept to their word of providing security this time around.
Let’s wait and watch to see if theater owners in Gujarat are brave enough to take on the challenge of screening Fanaa in the state and earn the wrath of political parties.