The Congress party has condemned upcoming Madhur Bhandarkar film Indu Sarkar, and claimed that the ‘false depictions’ of Emergency are ‘fully sponsored’.
According to Indian Express, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the spokesperson for the All India Congress, said, “This film is fully sponsored. The organisation and the individual who is behind the film is known to us. We totally condemn the false depictions in the film.”
To be released on July 28, Bhandarkar’s film Indu Sarkar, is based on the Emergency. Then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, had declared a National Emergency for nearly two years between 1975 and 1977, and had retained absolute powers within the office of the Prime Minister, and had overruled the federal and democratic institutions of the country. It was one of the most controversial periods in independent India’s history. The Emergency period saw the rise of protests by students and organisations opposed to the Congress, and in many ways led to the consolidation of BJP’s power across many of the northern states. However, recent criticisms of the RSS and other organisations and networks associated with the BJP, show that they were not entirely opposed to Indira Gandhi’s Emergency.
Madhur Bhandarkar had said, about his film Indu Sarkar, that he made the film because it was important to tell today’s generation about the Emergency. The CBFC cleared the film for release, and said that No Objection Certificates from the members of the Gandhi family were not required for the film. Pahlaj Nihalani, the CBFC chairman, even said, “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.”
Further, Nihalani said that the Neil Nitin Mukesh-Kirti Kulhari starrer does not particularly name anyone – Mrs Indira Gandhi or her son, Sanjay Gandhi – in the trailer. “You are only presuming the film is about the people you mention because of physical resemblance. I didn’t hear anyone’s name mentioned in the trailer. If they are mentioned in the film, we’ll see.”
That the CBFC cleared the film – based on what appears to be just the film’s trailer, and further declared that the makers need not obtain any clearance from the organisations depicted, has caused controversy. Especially when the CBFC had demanded a NOC from various political heads from the makers An Insignificant Man – a film on Arvind Kejriwal, and from the makers of the film The Accidental Prime Minister on Ex-PM Manmohan Singh.