It seems the Censor Board has multiple standards when dealing with films with a political theme. While the makers of the Manmohan Singh biopic would be asked to get an NOC (no objection certificate) from the man himself, Madhur Bhandarkar can heave a sigh of relief.
His film on Mrs Indira Gandhi’s draconian Emergency Indu Sarkar won’t have to get an NOC from anyone in the Congress or Gandhi family. On the contrary, the CBFC is thrilled to see the Emergency being slammed in the trailer.
Says Pahlaj Nihalani, “I saw Madhur’s trailer and I want to congratulate him for blowing the lid off one of the most shameful chapters of Indian politics. This was a time when the nation was put in the most embarrassing spotlight in the global arena. Many of our biggest leaders had to go to jail during the Emergency. Indian people’s morale had hit rock-bottom.”
When he says “biggest leaders” he means politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party. But what happened to the rule that says no film about real incidents and situations can be passed without NOCs from the concerned people?
“But Indu Sarkar does not name anyone! There is no mention of Mr Indira Gandhi or Sanjay Gandhi or anyone else in the trailer. You are only presuming the film is about the people you mention because of the physical resemblance,” says Nihalani.
This is a bit of nit-picking since the trailer clearly begins by stating the film is set during the Emergency that was declared by Mrs India Gandhi in 1977. It goes on to show mother Mrs G and son Sanjay (played by Neil Nitin Mukesh) indulging in the most arrogant tyranny.
“I didn’t hear anyone’s name mentioned in the trailer. If they are mentioned in the film we’ll see. At the moment I am glad someone has made a film on the Emergency. It is a kala dhabba (black spot) in our political history,” states Nihalani.
Clearly Bhandarkar has nothing to worry about.