Bombay HC issues notices to Big B, Sony TV for 'insulting' Netaji

Amitabh Bachchan
The Bombay High Court today issued notices to megastar Amitabh Bachchan and entertainment Channel Sony Television in response to a PIL which challenged a promo in popular quiz show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' saying it has insulted and maligned the slogan 'Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azadi doonga', coined by Subhash Chandra Bose.

The notices were issued by Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice G S Godbole who asked the Bollywood actor, anchor of the show, and Sony TV Channel to file reply by July 28.

The court also asked the petitioner to make the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as Advertisement Standard Council of India as respondents.

Counsel for Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Rui Rodrigues argued that the promo was not derogatory but was funny and it argued the examining committee had gone into it before clearing the same.

The PIL, filed by Mukesh Sharma, said there were six scenes in Hindi which were meant to promote the reality show, 'Kaun Banega Crorepati-4' and increase its TRP.

However, he found them insulting, defamatory and maligning the slogan given to the nation by the freedom fighter who had played an important role in fighting the erstwhile British regime.

The PIL said it was surprising why the legendary actor did not recuse himself from playing his act in the promo.

Of the six scenes from the promo, five are insulting and derogatory to Netaji's slogan. Some scenes in the promo show people were unaware about the slogan and Netaji's role in the freedom struggle, the PIL said.

On the sets of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', Bachchan asks a child: "Who said this? You give me blood and I will give you freedom." The child replies: "You said this just now" and then stops, confused. Bachchan tells him, "You must have heard this somewhere?"

The actor then tells viewers, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have been saying from the start that no question can be insignificant."

In yet another scene, two patients donating blood ask the doctor, "You took our blood. When will you give freedom?" and they laugh out loud.

In another scene, a student kills a mosquito which sat on his forearm and says, "You drank my blood and I will give you freedom."

The petitioner said he was immensely hurt by the promo being telecast by Sony TV. He said the promo gave the impression that people were unaware about the contribution of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to the freedom struggle.

Such a promo was an insult to the great freedom fighter who laid down his life to free India from British rule, the PIL said.

The petitioner stated such cantankerous and surreptitious approach of respondents will bring about a feeling of insecurity among Indians. Moreover, such approach will harm the integrity and harmony existing among the people.

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