The producers of the film, “Modi Ka Gaon” which was denied a censor certificate on various grounds, have moved to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking clearance to release it.
Producer Suresh Jha said here on Friday that he decided to knock on the PMO’s doors after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) communicated its final decision in writing on Thursday.
“They asked us to ‘Get an NOC from the Prime Minister’s Office and Election Commission’…I think this must be the first time the PMO or EC are expected to preview a film and clear it before the authorised body, the CBFC, certifies it,” he said.
“Submit NOC from PMO regarding PM’s portrayal/references through a character in the film resembles… (The film portrays development plans, references to Pakistan’s Uri attack, news and speeches related to the PM),” the CBFC note said.
Undeterred, Jha wrote a letter to the PMO asking for an ‘NOC’ to comply with the CBFC demand.
“Throughout our film, we represent the honest working of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his dream of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Smart India and Digital India,” the letter said.
Jha added that he has even offered a special screening for the PMO officials and sought an appointment with Modi in this regard.
“They have stipulated conditions which are so difficult to comply with that I might as well forget about releasing the film (on February 10),” rued Jha on Thursday, contemplating legal remedy.
“The film is about Modi’s development agenda and his vision for transforming the country… How can I possibly portray all this with somebody who does not resemble him. If film-makers have to get clearances from other bodies, then what is the need for CBFC'” Jha demanded.
The CBFC has also objected to a supporting character, ‘Pappu Bihari’, in the film, saying the name should be deleted from the entire film, including the songs.
“They probably apprehend that Pappu might be linked to a prominent Congress leader or offend the real-life politician Pappu Yadav! But, in Bihar, ‘Pappu’ is a very common name or a pet name, so I am mystified why the Censor Board is opposed to it. I am not going to oblige them on this,” Jha said.
Pappu Yadav is a controversial political leader from Bihar, a three-time former Lok Sabha member and founder-president of Janadhikar Party.
Not billed as a biopic on the Prime Minister, the 135-minute long “Modi Ka Gaon” feature film applied for CBFC certification in January.
Besides, Mumbai businessman Vikas Mahante who plays the role of Modi, television actors Chandramani M. and Zeba A. are playing the other important roles in the film.
The film was shot on locales in Mumbai, Patna and Darbhanga, detailing Modi’s aim of making all rural and urban centres ‘Smart Villages’ or ‘Smart Cities’.
The music for the film is directed by Manojanand Choudhary. It has seven songs. The all-India release was scheduled from Uttar Pradesh (currently in election mode), said Jha.