'Aarakshan' banned in UP; stay order on film's release in Punjab


The controversies surrounding Prakash Jha's 'Aarakshan' which is based on the topic of reservation in Indian government jobs and education just don't seem to end. After not allowing the cast to promote their film in Lucknow, the Mayawati government on Wednesday night banned the release of the Hindi film in Uttar Pradesh for two months. The Mayawati government has banned the film on the grounds that it would create law and order problem in the state due to alleged objectionable dialogue in the film.

The decision to ban the film which is due to release this Friday was taken on the basis of the report submitted by a high level official committee set up by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government. The committee comprising Principal Secretaries of Finance, Information, Higher Education and Rural Development departments and an official of Entertainment tax committee had watched the Amitabh Bachchan-Saif Ali Khan-Deepika Padukone starrer and submitted their report to the state government.

The government took the decision because of some objectionable dialogues in the movie. The committee found that the screening of the film could have had an adverse impact on the law and order situation. Prakash Jha's team tried their best to convince the panel but didn't pay off.

Before the UP government imposed the ban, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes asked the Censor Board to make necessary changes in the film before its release, objecting to the 'derogatory way' the backward community has been featured in it. They even said that director Prakash Jha's film was 'anti-Dalit' and 'anti-reservation'.

Following this, the Punjab government has put a stay on the release of Aarakshan in Punjab. A seven members committee consisting of Samir Kumar, Punjab secretary-home; Raj Kumar Atihai, chairman of the Safai Karamchari Board, Punjab; Vijay Danav, chairman, Scheduled Caste Welfare Board; a member of the Punjab Scheduled Caste Commission; V.K. Bhawra, inspector general intelligence; and vice chancellors of the Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, will watch the film today evening and will submit a report by tomorrow.

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