Rajinikanth's 2.0 in cell tower trouble?
Cellular Operators Association of India sends legal notice to 2.0 makers claiming movie "defamatory" to network service providers; urges CBFC to suspend screening until picture is re-examined
With a day to go before Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0 hits screens, the makers appear to have landed in a legal soup. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has sent a legal notice to producers — Lyca Productions and Dharma Productions — claiming that the sci-fi thriller falsely depicts phones and mobile towers as harmful to the environment on account of the electromagnetic field emissions from them. The organisation has also urged the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to re-examine the film and suspend the screening until they arrive at a decision.
A senior member of the COAI, on condition of anonymity, revealed to mid-day, "We have written to the Censor Board seeking a re-examination of the film. The legal notice is marked to the film's producers as well as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The depiction in the film is purely fictional, and defamatory to the operators linked with us. We have aggregated some of the world's largest technological companies."
COAI is a not-for-profit society registered in 1995 that consists of leading service providers, including Vodafone, Airtel and Jio, and works with government agencies like Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The organisation stated that the movie violates the guidelines for certification of films under the Cinematograph Act. The member further added that the trailer of the sci-fi thriller — which sees Kumar's part-human-part-bird character mouthing the dialogue, 'Every cell phone user is a murderer' — is "grossly prejudicial".
The premise of the Shankar-directed venture, as per the two-minute-long trailer, is based on how technology will target mankind. "The teaser and trailer are of grossly defamatory nature. They also promote an anti-scientific approach towards mobile phones. We have sought that exhibition of the film be suspended until the Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification takes a final call."
When mid-day reached out to Dharma Productions and Lyca Productions, they refused to reveal their course of action in the matter.
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