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CBFC denies clearance to Gujarati film on Patel quota stir

Even as Bollywood film "Udta Punjab" managed to sail through hurdles after a Bombay High Court order, a Gujarati movie based on the ongoing Patel quota agitation in the state, has been denied clearance by the Central Board of Film Certification.

The CBFC has refused certification to the movie, "Salagto Sawaal Anamat" (burning question of reservation), on the ground that if released in its present form, it may incite law and order problem.

The CBFC has also found issues with the film's dialogues which it said are against B R Ambedkar, the architect of Indian Constitution.

The film was scheduled for release on June 17.

"The film has been denied certification," CBFC office superintendent, who looks after regional films, K D Kamble told PTI from Mumbai.

"It has been done as it may incite law and order problem if released in its present form, as the film is based on the life of (quota agitation leader) Hardik Patel who is in prison and the matter is subjudiced. Also, there are dialogues against Dr Ambedkar and reservation policy," Kamble said.

The makers have now moved their application to the revising committee of the CBFC and are awaiting its nod to ensure that it manages to hit the screens.

"We recently received reply from CBFC in which it said that the movie is based on Hardik Patel and he is imprisoned and a case is going on against him because of law and order problem," director Rajesh Gohil said.

He further said, "Our film is not based on Hardik Patel's life. We have based the film on the Patidar reservation agitation, but it is not based on Hardik Patel, this is what we have said."

"The Censor Board, it appears, has little knowledge of Gujarati language, because it says the dialogues are against Babasaheb Ambedkar. But this is not the case. If listened properly, there is just one reference where a character says that Ambedkar framed reservation in Indian Constitution," said Mobin Khan, who plays the lead role in the film.

The makers said they started making the film less than a month after the Patidar agitation at Ahmedabad's GMDC ground last year, and submitted it for certification with the CBFC around two months back.

The Gujarati film's story revolves around Deepak Patel, who is shown struggling for his studies and job after his father's death.

There are graphic scenes of burning of buses and other properties shown to have caused heavy losses to both government and private properties.

The makers insist that the movie's protagonist bears no resemblance to Hardik.

"The life of the protagonist Deepak is far removed from the life of Hardik. He comes from a different family background than Hardik," Gohil said, adding that the makers may take legal recourse if the revision committee does not come up with a proper solution to the impasse.

Hardik, an accused in two separate cases of sedition registered against him in Surat and Ahmedabad, has been lodged in a Surat jail since his arrest last year in the wake of the violent stir by Patels seeking reservation under OBC category.

He is accused of inciting violence to put pressure on the state government to accept the demand of OBC reservation for Patels.

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