Nude Thoughts: S Durga, Padmavati, a Minister

Yesterday, as I stepped out of my house around 11 AM I found myself amidst 1000 people gathered and lined up to meet a religious-spiritual leader. And obviously, there was a major inconvenience caused on the main road but nobody bothered. Before I forget to tell you, this was happening just in front of the local MLA’s office. Usually it takes 6-7 minutes to reach the near by theater but it took me 30 minutes. And no, I’m not bragging about the inconvenience caused by the traffic- fortunately the show was at 11.45 AM. While I was frustrated in the bus, thoughts started pondering about the recent happenings:

A Minister heckled at Shahrukh Khan as the Superstar’s Jetty was docked at the Gateway, Mumbai. The angry Minister Jayant Patil even shouted, “You cannot enter Alibaug without my permission”. Who are these Ministers? The sole owners of democratic India? Just some inconvenience caused makes them furious so think about the inconvenience caused to the ‘aam’ (common) people, for instance, the chaos due to people lining up for a religious-spiritual leader. Is the local MLA follower? Was no inconvenience caused? Was he religiously governed? It’s so easy to target films and film stars, accessible to heckle more than getting the tickets of Salman Khan’s films for the First Day First Show. And we shall not forget when VIPS and VVIPS enter our cities, I even have an article written about the inconvenience cause by the Vice-President of India who was in Pune last year.

May be this is the right time to proclaim, “Intolerance”. When a censored film like “S Durga” (Malayalam) is still pulled out from the prestigious International Film Festival of India (IFFI), it’s a matter of concern. Films are made for Ministers or the audience? And even though the film is highly (auditory, most) censored, why is the I&B Ministry uncomfortable? I managed to watch “S Durga” at the recent Mumbai Film Festival and it surely slaps the men patriarchy. Is the government afraid that women will stand up against men? What about the people addressing or complimenting girls/women as ‘sexy’ irrespective of their names as they are ogling from distance or making them dance at the dance bars (while Politicians ponder money over them, this is a film cliche). What if the bar dancer is named ‘Saraswati’ or ‘Laxmi’ will you still do it? So what if the character is named ‘Durga’, we can’t call her sexy? Director Sanal Kumar Sashidharan has dared the ‘bhakts’ to imagine “SEXY” in “S DURGA”, go for it people. I’ve a friend named Durga, she smokes, she drinks and she lingers mostly around male friends, so isn’t that unfair? Oh, Goddess save the souls. [READ THE REVIEW]

Another film which was pulled out without being discussed or notified to the Jury Members is Ravi Jadhav’s “Nude” which narrates a story of a woman who works as an erotic model for the students of Art School, J J School of Art to be precise. At the 2015 IFFI, I had an overwhelming experience of watching an erotic film called “Love” that too, in 3D. Basically, it was all about sex- forget the story. So when a filmmaker sets to narrate a struggle of a woman to earn livelihood by posing nude for the students of an Art School, why was it pulled out? Didn’t they bother about the out-an-out erotic film, “Love”– watch it for yourself, it’s complete porn. Well, kudos to the I&B Ministry of India for flourishing a porn film in a Film Festival and that too in 3D. [WATCH THE TRAILER]

While its disheartening to see the Film Festivals getting censored too- thanks to the controversies for letting these crucial films into limelight. At least, the issues reached a wide audience before the release. Abhishek Chaubey’s “Udta Punjab” (2016) is the best example.

When the Ministers rule out films without even watching it, India becomes a land of intolerance and concern. F**k (dare you use that word) creative space! The best example of ruining a creative space is the eminent artist M. F. Hussain, who literally had to take shelter in other country. And, we have Ministers who want Sanjay Leela Bhansali to be put on trial for treason for making “Padmavati”. Is that all? Filmmakers making an art-piece will be put on trial and that too, treason? Who the f**k are these guys? Where am I living? What is development? What is right-wing? Will I be put on trial for even writing this? Certainly.

-a frustrated Indian Cinephile.

WATCH THE TRAILER OF ‘S DURGA’


Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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