Filmmaker Prakash Jha has agreed to make "appropriate" alterations in his film 'Aarakshan', themed on caste-based reservations, after facing protests from the Republican Party of India (RPI) as well as a ban on the movie from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
"Reservation is a sensitive issue but we have kept that in mind. Political reasons could be behind the ban on the film. I will make appropriate cuts in the film as per suggestions," Jha said today (August 11).
'Aarakshan' deals with the issue of caste-based reservations in the Indian education system, and several political parties and groups have expressed concern over its content in anticipation of anti-Dalit comments.
"Prakash Jha has accepted few cuts in the film," said Dalit leader and RPI chief Ramdas Athawale.
The filmmaker is also in talks with the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh governments to revoke the ban.
"The ban has not yet been lifted. We are still trying. We are doing whatever we can, and the RPI is supporting our movie now. It will release without any problems in Maharashtra," Jha said.
Jha's film received a clean chit from the censor board, and was given a U/A certificate without any cuts, after it was screened for a nine-member committee. However, problems continued to plague the release of the film, which is scheduled to release Friday (August 12).
Earlier this week, Jha's office and home were attacked by RPI activists, who staged protests and burned posters of the film. Though the filmmaker reached a settlement with RPI Thursday, security has been stepped up at multiple multiplexes in Mumbai.
Nishar Tamboli, deputy commissioner, Mumbai police, told IANS: "We have deployed a good manforce in almost all theatres in Mumbai to curb any kind of disturbance caused by anyone. As far as providing extra security is concerned, that depends on the situation after the movie is released."
Security has also been provided to the film's key cast - Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee and Prateik Babbar.
"We have provided security to the entire star cast of the film because there were threats to their life," said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner, Mumbai police, Zone 9.