Johar, who made his directorial debut with 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' back in 1998, said, "I have been fighting legal cases since my first film. I have been combating political parties and groups since then. Even my effigy was burnt once. I am afraid to give a statement on the politics of land or even share my point-of-view. I feel restrictive to be a citizen of this country."
Johar was in the capital to to share his views on 'Celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema- The Road Ahead' at the ongoing Centenary Film Festival. "We feel vulnerable at the release, pre-release and even post-release. Though I believe fear is not an emotion that a filmmaker should experience," he said.
The 40-year-old director's 'My Name is Khan' was opposed by Shiv Sena and its release was delayed in his home state- Maharashtra. Johar has bought the film rights of the Shiva trilogy by the best-selling author Amish Tripathi but he says he is scared of making a movie on it. Veteran actor Dhritiman Chaterjee who has worked with legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray, said, "If Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen's Kolkata films particularly Sen's films which were explicitly political in nature were made in today's times, I don't think they would have got a release."
Director Dibakar Banerjee, known for his realistic films such as 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!', 'Love Sex aur Dhokha' and 'Shanghai' believes people hold the power to change the system. "When they come for you there will be nobody to protest. We need to address the issue of censorship very deeply," said Banerjee.
Zoya Akhtar believes vandalism and hooliganism in the name of censorship should not be allowed. "People can't break theatres because they are offended by a film. If government can protect us then I believe more genuine voices can come out and we can work out with them." Johar, Dibakar and Zoya also promoted their upcoming Indian anthology film 'Bombay Talkies'. Anurag Kashyap was not present at the event.