The whole country, it seemed, had a view on the screening of Tom Hanks’ Da Vinci Code. Which was that it should be screened regardless of the injury it caused to Catholic sentiments in the interests of freedom of expression.
Does the same country have a similar view on the blackout of Fanaa in Gujarat? The film is in danger not because the story is injurious to Gujarati sentiments but because its lead star Aamir Khan has committed the cardinal sin of sparring with the torch-bearer of Gujarati asmita, Narendra Modi.
The Gujarat Multiplex Owners’ Association has decided not to screen Khan’s latest flick from this Friday because of his outburst against Modi for his handling of the violence in Baroda. Rang de Basanti too had met with a similar fate following his support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan movement.
So what are we to make of this?
That majority censorship is somehow better, more acceptable, than minority protests? That Modi and his government are beyond questioning, merely because he won a blood-stained election?
Isn’t Yash Chopra‘s right to do business being stalled by goondagiri by another name? Is this the most visible sign of an economic boycott in post-Godhra Gujarat, and therefore legally questionable?