The Allahabad High Court today pulled up makers of the film ‘Adipurush’ over its dialogues that have infuriated a large section of the audience, who accuse it of ‘hurting religious sentiments’. The court directed co-writer Manoj Muntashir Shukla to be made a party in the case, and issued notice directing him to respond within a week.
The court was hearing a petition demanding a ban on ‘Adipurush’, which claims to be a mythological action film based on the Hindu epic Ramayana.
“The nature of dialogues in the film is a big issue. Ramayana is a paragon for us. People read Ramcharitmanas before leaving home,” it said, adding that films shouldn’t touch certain things.
“Agar hum log ispar bhi aankh band kar len kyonki yeh kaha jaata hai ki yeh dharm ke log bade sahishnu (tolerant) hain to kya uska test liya jayega? (If we close our eyes on this issue too, because it is said that the people of this religion are very tolerant, will it be put to test as well?),” the bench remarked.
The Allahabad High Court questioned whether the film certification authority, popularly called the censor board, fulfilled its responsibility.
“It’s good that people did not harm the law and order situation after watching the film. Lord Hanuman and Sita have been shown like they are nothing. These things should have been removed from the very beginning. Some scenes seem to be of “A” (adult) category. It’s very difficult to watch such films,” the court observed.
Terming it a “very serious matter”, it questioned what the censor board did about it.
The Deputy Solicitor General informed the court that the objectionable dialogues have been removed from the film, to which the court asked the Deputy SG to ask the censor board what it has been doing.
“That alone won’t work. What will you do with the scenes? Seek instructions, then we will definitely do whatever we want to do… In case the exhibition of the film is stopped, then the people whose feelings have been hurt, will get relief,” the court said.
Regarding the argument of the respondents that a disclaimer had been added in the film, the bench said, “Do the people who put the disclaimer consider the countrymen, and youth, to be brainless? You show Lord Rama, Lord Laxman, Lord Hanuman, Ravana, Lanka and then say it is not Ramayana?”
“We saw it on the news that people went to the theatres and got the film shut down. Be thankful nobody vandalised it,” the court added.
Hearing in the case will continue tomorrow.