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October 2, 2003

Film Makers, Intellectuals Meet to Protest Ban on Film Aakrosh   

Press Note

It is none other than Narendra Modi and his Government who are solely responsible for Gujarat Genocide, which is a blackest chapter in Indian history. Whenever Supreme Court, NHRC, Media, people reprimand Narendra Modi and denounce him, he takes shelter behind whole Gujarathi community stating that attack on him is attack on the Asmita of whole Gujarathi Community. This is most cowardly act of Narendra Modi to hide behind Gujarathi Community who still loves the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and not of Modi.  He must owe the responsibility of what happened in Gujarat and unless he quits, delivering  justice to the victims is a remote possibility.

Veteran Gandhian thinker-leader Narayan Desai from Velchi Ashram Near Surat while speaking to the meeting on 2nd October 2003, at Press Club to protest the ban on short film Aakrosh on Gujarat riots upholded by Film Certification, Appellate, Tribunal of Government of India which has upholded the decision of Censor Board not to clear the Film for public viewing by denying Censor Certificate to it. He further said that what is shown in the Film is Truth, he had given shelter to young orphan children of victims of riot, they shiver at the sight of Kitchen Knife, they get up in the middle of the night and start screaming, shouting, he wonders unless justice is done, culprits are punished, wounds will not heal, but who will give justice, Central Government is still supporting Modi, Mahatma Gandhi has preached simplicity and on his birthday at Porbander, a feast of 62 varieties food festivities was organized to celebrate. A time will come when Modi, Togadia will give Trishul in the hands of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is much malign today, his philosophy is twisted and his ideals forcefully forgotten.

“I am a sad man today” said am emotionally moved Narayan Desai. Vijay Tendulkar, noted dramatist, writer who made his public appearance after a long gap said that it was Congress who sowed the seeds of Communalism and Fascism and BJP is harvesting it. Vajpayee, Advani today speak different language much to misguide people. He said that history of Communalism and Communal violence must be understood in proper perspective and what happened in Gujarat is a result of divide and rule policy which was adopted by British Raj, the Congress followed it and the BJP has adopted it successfully. The recent bomb blast in Mumbai are going to benefit only BJP and there seems a deeper conspiracy in it.

He said that India has black history of Censor Board and no film which is going to project reality on Gujarat will ever get Censor Clearance, “Aakrosh” must be shown at each and every locality, bastis, villages without further waiting for Censor Clearance.

Nikhil Wagle, Editor of Mahanagar told the gathering that, “ threat if you speak the truth is not new , throughout his journalist career, he has constantly faced the threats, harassment which he boldly faced”. Recently some Police officials of Mumbai Police threatened him for writing, which discomforted them, but one must accept challenge boldly and battle for justice is a long battle which must be fought. He said that he will initiate steps to show Aakrosh defying ban at various places in Mumbai, let the Government take any action.

Anil Prakash of Ganga Mukti Andolan and associate of Jaiprakash Narayan, who came from Patna told the gathering that he had come to Ahmedabad to attend Sabarmati meeting organized by Mallika Sarabhai and Ramesh Pimple in March last year, what he saw in Relief camps and after hearing the stories he went into trauma for 2 months, the memories of the violence still shiver him. People in Bihar still don’t believe that such things could happen in our country. He said that he will take and show “Aakrosh” in Bihar and other parts of the country.

The design of Modi and Togadia to destroy the Indian Democracy and constitution, secularism will never be successful. Togadia will not be allowed to enter Bihar and when he attempted, there were 20 people present to receive him.

Ramesh Pimple who made this film with Geeta Chawda and Yusuf Mehta, chief co-ordinator of PMI, said that People’s Media Initiative is holding talks with Anand Patwardhan, Rakesh Sharma and other Documentary Film producers to organize Public Screening of documentaries and films made on Gujarat issue in Mumbai in December –January defying the Censor Board ruling. The films are like a mirror, which shows realities, and if the image is naked then one must accept the fact. He said that efforts are on to send maximum Films made on Gujarat to MIFF Film Festival by renowned film makers and we will wait and watch if these films get selected for screening or not or indirect Censorship will check these films out of MIFF. If this happens then parallel Film Festival will be organized and all progressive pro-people Film Makers will unite to defy this silent indirect Censorship.

The peace Film “Chale Chalo” made on the backdrop of Mumbai blast produced by PMI and directed by Shyam Ranjankar was released to the Media and Public by Geeta Chawda, producer of Aakrosh. Kunda P.N., Film Maker, lastly made an earnest appeal to all the Secular and Democratic forces to unite and give decisive blow to fascist forces, which are emerging and growing at very faster scale in India.

Adv. Sebastian of Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) told the gathering that he appealed the case of “Aakrosh” in Mumbai High Court without waiting for the outcome of High Court. “Aakrosh” must be shown at every possible way. He said that Congress and BJP are two sides of the same coin and both the parties are equally communal and anti –people.

Meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Shashi Sonwane.




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