Monday, October 3, 2011


The Prakash Jha directed movie “Aarakshan” went through a series of controversies but emerged victorious despite the opposition it faced.

The Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone starrer-Aarakshan has been through its fair share of controversies even before its August 12th 2011 release date. Ever since the film’s production began it has been victim to a slew of controversies. The film directed by Prakash Jha deals with reservation in the educational system. The topic of reservation is still a very delicate one in India. It all started when even after the film was cleared by the censor board certain individual political parties decided to ban it based on their pre judgment. They believed that the film would hurt the sentiments of the people and would lead to dispute between people.

The issue of reservation in India is a very controversial one and has been the topic of discussion for a very long time. There has to date not been a concrete solution for it. A large majority of the people in India that are not under the tag of backward class are known to hold strong opposing views against the issue. They believe that a minority of people in society do need to be uplifted and given certain privileges over the others in order to raise to success but the reservation policy of the government gives the backward classes’ excess privilege. It is very prominent in the educational system. Students have for years fought against it, as reservation has taken precedence over merit. The film talks about the bottled up feelings of the vast majority of people.

Aarakshan although cleared by the censor board who saw no problems with the film and positioned it as being suitable for public viewing a few state leaders have banned it. The film had been banned in Uttar Pradesh under the Mayawati government, in Punjab and also in Andhra Pradesh. The governments banned the film stating that if the film was made available for public viewing the sentiments of the people would be hurt. In order to avoid dispute the governments banned them. OBC leader Chagan Bhujpal also banned the film because he felt that the film had anti-reservation and anti-dalit agenda. There was a special screening of the film after which he apologized for his comments.

The main reason for the ban is because the government is seeking to find a balance in order to see that the equilibrium between the freedom of speech one side and the imperative of maintaining law and order on the other are somehow reconciled, said Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.

After the film was banned by individual states the Supreme Court decided to lift the ban, the film was then made available for viewing to the people in UP. After the ban was lifted even Punjab and Andhra Pradesh allowed public viewing of the film.

Although the topic of reservation in the educational system and the reservation bill that the government passed in 2008 is a very sensitive issue there should be a distance that should be maintained between a person expressing a point of view and the government interfering with it. Film is form of art that if executed in the right way gives out the right kind of message to its audience. There would be no point in calling India a democratic country if an individual is denied the right to express his/her views.

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