PIL against ‘31st October’; release date pushed to Oct 21

The release date of Soha Ali Khan and Vir Das starrer film ‘31st October’ has been postponed to 21 October, after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed against it. The political thriller is based on the events in the aftermath of late prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984.

The film, touted to be Bollywood’s first attempt to focus on the communal riots of 1984, was originally slated to hit screens this Friday, after the makers struggled with the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for over four months to release it.

But the film has hit a roadblock again after a PIL seeking a ban on its release was filed in a Delhi court, allegedly by a close aide of the Congress party, as per the makers.

Writer-producer Harry Sachdeva said in a statement, “It’s been a tough journey ever since I started working on this subject but I didn’t give up then and will not give up now. From the censor to now getting threats, I am strong that I will make this film come to the big screen and people who don’t want this subject to come out, cannot stop the world to know the reality of 1984.”

According to the PIL, the movie is an attack on the secular fabric of India and is contrary to the ideology of the country’s oldest political party.

“From whatever little is shown on trailers, it is clear that action and words used by the characters are of offending nature, they have all ingredients to tarnish the reputation of such persons. Apart from the fact that same can’t stand the test of fair comment or that of social interest, they appear to be provocative,” said the plea.

The plea filed by Ajay Katara, has also demanded that some offensive scenes be deleted from the film, saying there were various scenes which are aimed and targeted against a political figure of the country.

Without naming any political leader, the petition said that the makers have used a look-alike of the political figure who has been painted in a bad light, and added that movie has transgressed the right of expression, in as much as a particular person has been targeted so as to invite contempt and hatred against him.

31st October’ has been directed by National Award winning director Shivaji Lotan Patil.