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?
Tom Hanks ‘DA VINCI CODE’ is a religious sentiment issue . And only one sentiment ( Muslim) is counted in this Country .
Amir’s is a Political issue and all political parties(in Gujurat) are united in this ( banning Fanaa ).
Both are separate issues .
Au usual, you let your biases mask facts. Which oracle told you that “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”? According to Chirag Shah, spokesman for the Gujarat multiplex association, the reason is Amir’s association with NBA. And who decides what movie to play? you, or the owner? Given the overwhelming consensus in Gujarat, across the political spectrum, on the Narmada issue, I don’t think the multiplex owners needed anyone to tell them what to do.
And why is economic boycott illegal? Whenever the Kaveri issue hots up, I urge all my friends who subscribe to the Hindu to swich to some other paper. Its editorial bias against Karnataka on Kaveri is very obvious. I don’t know about you, but I prefer such boycotts to torching down newspaper offices.
L.K. Advani’s lasting contribution to humanity is to have twisted the minds of Hindus in the name of pseudo-secularism. And we are seeing it here by the bucketful.
What is the chance that multiplex owners, all Gujaratis presumably (unlike in Bangalore), want to kick away the returns coming their way through a Yash Chopra-Aamir Khan film because of Aamir Khan’s insult to Gujaratis? They are clearly acting at somebody else’s behest. It is not difficult to guess who this could be, but it is naive to disregard the possibility.
What “overwhelming consensus” are we talking about? The view of urban Gujaratis on Narmada is one thing but television images of the poor, displaced, unrehabilitated villagers is saying something else. Which is why even the Supreme Court has had to take note of the attempt of the Narendra Modi and Manmohan Singh govenments to pull the wool over its eyes by playing around with the facts of the case.
If we are going to shut down everything that contradicts our point of view, then we are only going to play into the hands of the Arundhati Roys of the world who can then rightly claim before western audiences that we are not a democracy for a fat fee.
Democracy, as the Al-Jazeera slogan goes, is the view and the other view. Merely because Aamir Khan had a rival position vis-a-vis Narendra Modi on the Narmada movement or on the Vadodara violence, it does not give him, his supporters or the multiplex owners (who may be the same in this case) the justification for this kind of censorship.
An economic boycott is illegal because it contravenes the human right to subsist and to exist. When Gujarati Hindus issued pamphlets urging fellow Gujarati Hindus not to buy products made by Muslims, it amounted to a contravention of human rights. When Aamir Khan’s Fanaa is sought to be blacked out, it amounts to the same contravention of human rights, although we are not talking of the same kind of Muslims.
Boycotting MacDonald’s for hurting religious sentimments or Nike for using sweatshop workers is one thing. Not because somebody takes a stand that doesn’t agree with yours. At least in the case of Mac or Nike or The Hindu , it is voluntary. Here, on the other hand, given the stunning trackrecord of Gujarat’s law enforcement authorities, it is more likely forced. Or else.
There are reports that there is a second side to this boycott of ‘Fanaa’, which is Yash Chopra’s demand for a greater share of the profits. Still, if Narendra Modi believes in the superficial “good governance” that his supporters love to talk about, he should take every step to ensure that Fanaa sees the light of the silverscreen. Or else, he is only going to be stuck with the label of a Fascist, sooner if not later.
You cannot even talk against the Rajkumar Fans in Karnataka, the why comment on far way Gujarat when we are ignorant about ground realities? Even on as specious a reason as mAsika, some fly by night organization forces organizers of Air Supply Concert to postpone the event. The smart looking police commissioner of Bangalore who is more interested in posing in designer clothes does not even arrest a single soul for threatening to stop the event. mEra dEsh mahAn and suvrNa karanTaka !!!???
I agree with Krishna. The reason for boycotting Amir’s FANAA is his association with NBA. Gujarat Multiplex Owners’ Association cancelled screening the movie not because they respect Modi or anyone……….they just FEAR that BJP and wested interes will ran sack the place if they do screen.
Wise decision guys…………Where is out pirated pappu’s? FANA will have a big market in Gujrath if it will be a hit……………..Guys fasten your belts………here the pirated version comes on Thrusday night……………Long live Yash Chopra………..
Uh huh, there’s a hell of a difference between a ban – and a voluntary shunning of a movie.
And Aamir dint talk of Baroda incident, what he did talk of was the NBA and its activities.
The NBA is using strong arm tactics – like putting up boards that go
“Government officials are not permitted to do a survey. You should go back, if however you do carry a survey, anything could happen (to you)”
After backing that, there’s no way anyone’s gonna be let off easy. If aamir can yap on anything he wants, he certainly needs to face consequences.
I think the decision not to screen Fanaa has more to do with Aaamir’s stand related to the NBA. As we all know too well from our Kaveri experience, water can inflame our passions like no other issue can. So this decision to boycott seems to cut across party lines. For Gujaratis the Sardar Sarovar project is perceived to be the solution for many water problems. So this has become touchy.
Comparing this to the Da Vinci issue might not be appropriate as this is more of a religious issue which was referred to the religious leaders and only then a decision was taken.
Aamir merely voiced his concern over the rehab of Narmada project oustees. If I get my facts rights, it seems when a journo asked him about why he was endorsing Cocacola when the company was known to be flouting environment norms and concerns, he went so far as to say that he would talk to appropriate people, understand the problem, and if found true, he would stop endorsing the brand. I trust he will.
Interestingly, Fanaa apparently means ‘annihilation’ or ‘destruction’. Some jinxed name this, it seems. Aside from the Gujrat multiplexes problem, it seems the film’s Music director-duo Jatin-Lalit are splitting, and Yash Chopra earned some infamy for arm-twisting multiplexes for a bigger share of the profit.
The Da Vinci Code banning was a question of law. Fanaa was not. It was a purely emotional (and maybe partisan) reaction to the views of a particular actor, that the distributors decided not to show the film. Even the one who did show ultimately had to shut down due to the self-immolation of one of the persons who had come to see the movie.
Then, again, in the age of DVDs and cable TV…bans are only so much hot air and waste paper
Fanaa deserves to be banned/boycotted for other reasons too – in this day and age of anyone-can-be-terrorist-even-the-boy-next-door, it goes on to romanticize terrorism. our movies should also portray terrorism as evil… it goes a long way in shaping our attitude to fighting terrorism.
You could also have mentioned banning of ‘ Lajja’ the novel by Taslima Nasreen and ‘Satanic verses’ of Rashdie, to make your write up convincing.