A Gujarati film on activist Hardik Patel, the self-proclaimed voice of the Patidar community in India, has been denied clearance by the censor board on several grounds, including usage of real names and events. According to the film’s director Mahesh Patel, the committee did not suggest any cuts, but outrightly denied clearance to the movie.
The film, titled Power of Patidar, was specially screened for a committee under the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on Friday in Mumbai. The committee objected to the use of the word ‘Patidar’ in the title, in addition to the usage of real names of all key leaders of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), headed by Hardik Patel.
Mahesh Patel’s film is the second Gujarati film to have been rejected by the censor board in recent times. Last month, the CBFC had refused certification to Salagto Sawaal Anamat (Burning Question of Reservation), stating that if the film was released, given recent circumstances, there might be a law and order problem. According to a Times of India report, the CBFC had suggested 100 cuts in the film. The makers of the film have approached the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).
Hardik Patel has been campaigning for the inclusion of the Patidar caste from Gujarat in Other Backward Caste (OBC) quota. An issue that is deemed too sensitive in the country, Patel created a stir nationwide, fighting for more for reserved quotas in education and government jobs for his community.
After witnessing how his sister failed to qualify for a state government scholarship while her friend cleared it through the OBC quota, Patel decided to take the matter up and started a non-political organisation – the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in July 2015. In spite of threats and orders to stop his campaign, Patel rallied on all over Gujarat.
Patel, who was arrested in October last year under the charges of sedition, was released on 15 July this year.
Feature Image credit: The Hindu