Indu Sarkar: After Pune, Nagpur press conference cancelled following protests by Congress party workers
Days after the Pune press conference of Madhur Bhandarkar's political drama Indu Sarkar was cancelled, another one to be held in Nagpur suffered the same fate due to protests by Congress party members.
Taking to Twitter, the director tweeted to Rahul Gandhi, asking him and his party to stop interfering in the press conferences of his upcoming film.
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) July 16, 2017
Before the press conference could begin, he tweeted:
During the protests at the Pune venue, Bhandarkar said that the Congress party workers had barged into the room, disrupted the ongoing event and left him and his crew "stranded like hostages in [the] hotel room".
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) July 15, 2017
Earlier in July, city Congress general secretaries Girish Joshi and Vivek Khandelwal put out a statement asserting that they would not allow Indu Sarkar to be screened in Indore at any cost. "Under the garb of the freedom of expression, the movie touches the subject of Emergency. It purposefully features the lookalikes of (former Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi and her son late Sanjay Gandhi to sully our party's image," read the statement.
The film has been mired in controversy ever since it first made headlines. Maharashtra Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil threatened that party workers would hit the streets if the film maligned its leaders. "If our apprehension that history has been distorted is found to be true, it will hurt people's sentiments. If an attempt has been made to malign the image of Congress leaders, party workers may hit the streets in protest. The CM should intervene to prevent untoward incidents and maintain law and order," he said.
Sanjay Nirupam wrote a letter to the chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Pahlaj Nihalani, asking for an exclusive pre-screening of the film for the Congress, to which Nihalani responded by saying that he is not obligated to respond. Jyotiraditya Scindia described the film as being "fully sponsored", adding, "The organisation and the individual who is behind the film is known to us. We totally condemn the false depictions in the film."
The CBFC has recommended 14 cuts to Indu Sarkar, to which Madhur Bhandarkar responded with disappointment, adding that the makers of the film would now approach a revision committee.
Indu Sarkar is set against the backdrop of the Emergency, and has within its narrative characters based on the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay. It stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, Kirti Kulhari, and Tota Roy Chaudhary, and is scheduled to release on 28 July.