Prakash Jha, rejoicing in his victory over the lift of the ban on Aarakshan in Uttar Pradesh, has decided to make a film on creative freedom and the efforts to muzzle the artiste through extra-constitutional means.
The honourable Supreme Court’s decision to lift the ban imposed on the film Aarakshan by the Mayawati government is, according to the director Prakash Jha historic. However, there is no sense of triumph in the victory, since the failure to release the film in UP at the time of its release on August 12 resulted in huge losses of revenue.
Says Jha, “Even this Friday on August 19, after the court’s verdict there was no way we could release the film .We opened all over UP only on Saturday morning to full houses in Varanasi and other places. But at what cost? The film’s collections suffered a big dent because of the ban. Why must we suffer this kind of humiliating authoritarianism?”
The director however is happy he fought the ban. “There’s a lesson here for all filmmakers. We should not buckle under pressure. My film is not the first to face hurdles from state governments after being censored by the Central Board of Certification. The film industry needs to collectively fight pressures from the outside.”
Jha’s films have faced constant hurdles before and after release. “But iss bar thoda zyada ho gaya.”
Jha’s film on the whole experience of battling various organizations a state governments for the release of Aarakshan has inspired a script on the subject.
“Why are we filmmakers constantly subjected to efforts to stifle our voices? I was provoked enough to go to the Supreme Court. A lot of filmmakers just succumb to pressure and make whatever adjustments are required of them. We shouldn’t allow this to happen.”