Filmmaker Prakash Jha is not ready to organize a special screening of Aarakshan, his forthcoming film on caste-based reservations, for the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NSCS), which has demanded a preview prior to its release Aug 12.
“I am not required to respond to any board of people, who want to sit in judgement over my film. As a filmmaker, who has been making films for about 30 years, I am well aware of the procedure I have to follow to get the clearances for the release of the film. I will be following the due procedure,” Jha said in a statement.
The panel wants to make sure that the film has not misinterpreted the constitutional provision for reservations in government jobs and educational institutions for the socially backward classes.
Jha had earlier said he would sit down and dispel the panel’s doubts regarding the film, but he has flatly refused the idea of a special screening of the film for the commission.
“The laws of the country do not require me to show my film to any board or body, apart from the censor board (Central Board of Film Certification),” he said.
“The censor board has been constituted to review films–rate them according to viewing suitability and address any other concerns related to the release of the film. The censor board is the only body that needs to see the film,” he added.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Deepika Padukone, Pratieik Babbar and Tanvi Azmi play pivotal roles in the film. It is yet to receive a rating from the censor board.
Jha said he won’t mind if the board included the panel in its preview committee.
“Once the film is submitted for censorship, it is up to the censor board to incorporate anyone into the preview committee. It is the prerogative of the censor board if it wants to involve any other body,” said Jha’s statement.
Explaining the intent behind the film, he added: “Aarakshan is a film about the ramifications of the reservation policy and the commercialization of education as seen through the experiences of a particular group of people. It explores various sides of the issue, through various characters.”
“My intention has been to provide a fair and balanced comment on the issue. The film is releasing on Aug 12, so we have enough time to go to the censor board for certificate,” said Jha.