Madhur Bhandarkar's Blog For On 'Indu Sarkar'

I'm nervous and excited about Indu Sarkar release on July 28 but at the same time, I'm scared with the kind of agitation that is going on, with the kind of protests going on.

I wasn't expecting this (the controversy around Indu Sarkar). I was making a beautiful story about Indu, my protagonist, and her husband and their relationship and what happens during the Emergency - that was the backdrop. It's a beautiful human relationship story and that's what I wanted to convey but I didn't know this reaction would come out of it.

Indu Sarkar is not about an individual, it's not about a political party; that part is just a backdrop of the film. And yes, the film is political in terms of nature, but it's not a political film, neither is it a docu-drama on the Emergency.

I was appalled and shocked - the way the trailer was passed and everything was okay with them (Censor Board); at the same time, they used a different yardstick for the film. I don't know the parameters they work in and I was really appalled and shocked. I'm going to approach the other bench.

They want me to remove everything - (the words) "Kishore Kumar", "RSS", "Communist", "Akali", "PM"...these are the words used every day by the media and everywhere. How do I remove it? It's the essence of the film.

It has a relevance to it. What I have used in Indu Sarkar is what was written in documentaries and books by renowned authors or the Shah Commission. That's what I'm trying to portray in my film too. It's just a backdrop and it's dramatized also. So I don't know why it's a different yardstick when it comes to a film (as opposed to the trailer which was cleared).

I asked them (the Censor Board) to give me an alternative for "Kishore Kumar" and they said, "use 'Kumar' only" - and I laughed it off.

But CBFC has always had a problem - be it any tenure, any regime and that has gone for me from Chandni Bar days. Page 3, Corporate, Fashion and Heroine, all my films have gone through this with the CBFC. For me, it's nothing new. I'm facing the same old brunt.

The woman who claims to be Sanjay Gandhi's secret daughter - Priya Singh Paul - has asked a Delhi court to stop the film claiming she cannot allow her family to be portrayed negatively. We have acknowledged her notice and we have countered it. The legal team is working on it but there's no point in showing the film to anyone (as a special screening).

That applies for the Congress too. You cannot have parallel censor in this country. Today, one party will say they want to see the film, tomorrow, another party will say they want to see the film. How many times are you going to show a film? It sets a bad precedent.

They (Congress) are reacting on the basis of a three-minute trailer. They've got a very knee-jerk reaction. I think people should see the film in totality and what I'm telling is nothing new. It has been documented, it's been spoken, it's been reconstructed by various channels and that's what I'm trying to show. I don't see why don't I have my freedom of expression when people have written books about it? Why not approve a film also? Why are you trying to put obstacles for a film?

(Madhur Bhandarkar is the director of National Award-winning films Chandni Bar and Page 3)​

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