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India: Censorship and ’hurt sentiments’

Friday 21 September 2018, by siawi3


Manmarziyaan controversy: From Anurag Kashyap’s apology to CBFC’s order to delete scenes, here’s all that happened

Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan is facing rough waters after a Sikh group raised objections over its certain scenes, leading to a CBFC order to delete them. This has left Kashyap and its cast furious. Here is a timeline of the entire controversy.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi

Published: September 20, 2018 4:52:35 pm

A still from one of the probable scenes from Manmarziyaan featuring Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu.

Manmarziyaan might be receiving praise, but this Anurag Kashyap directorial has landed in trouble. Just days after its release, the intense love triangle has miffed a certain section of the Sikh community, resulting in the Censor Board of Film and Certification ordering its makers to delete three scenes from the final cut.

Here is everything that has happened so far:

What is the controversy?

Abhishek Bachchan plays the character of Robbie, who is a cut Surd. The film shows him wearing his turban as soon as he arrives in Amritsar. In a scene, he smokes but removes his turban before doing that. However, certain scenes involving him and his wife Rumi have not gone down well with one particular Sikh group.

Which community got upset?

The Supreme Sikh Organisation on Tuesday filed a petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court objecting to a scene showing Robbie smoking a cigarette after taking off his turban. The complaint, which was against the screening of the film, stated that Robbie “solemnises his marriage rituals in a gurudwara and then goes out. He removes his turban and smokes a cigarette.”

As per the petitioner, it hurts the sentiments of the Sikh religion. The complaint further stated that since the actors are role models for the young generation, such scenes give a wrong message to the society.

Which scenes and characters from the film were involved?

In the film, Taapsee Pannu’s Rumi tells Robbie that she cannot get married to him, leaving him shocked. He then takes off his turban, hands it over to his house help and smokes a cigarette in sadness. In another scene, when Rumi and Robbie enter the Gurudwara for their wedding, Rumi gets flashes of her boyfriend Vicky in her mind. The third scene involved Rumi smoking a cigarette.

What did Anurag Kashyap say?

Anurag Kashyap, who wasn’t in the country when the complaint was filed, took to Twitter on Wednesday to issue a long statement with an apology, emphasising that “Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion.”

Here is what he wrote:
manmarziyaan controversy kashyap statement Anurag Kashyap’s statementon the Manmarziyaan controversy.

What did CBFC say?

The Censor Board later on Wednesday released an order to the makers of Manmarziyaan to delete three scenes from the film. According to the CBFC copy, the three deleted scenes include a 29-second smoking sequence of Abhishek, a minute-long scene featuring Taapsee Pannu and Abhishek entering a Gurudwara and an 11-second scene where Taapsee is shown smoking.

“We have removed the three scenes from the film as people’s sentiments were getting hurt. The said changes have come into effect in metros from today and will reflect across India from the coming Thursday-Friday,” a source from the production side told PTI.

Here is the censor copy of the deleted scenes:
manmarziyaan deleted scenes CBFC asked for the deletion of three scenes in Manmarziyaan.

Who deleted the scenes?

Eros, which distributed the film, announced its decision to comply with the CBFC and went on to delete the particular scenes. This however, was not a unanimous decision from the makers’ end.

What was Anurag Kashyap’s reaction on the deletion of scenes?

Anurag Kashyap on Thursday took to Twitter and revealed he wasn’t happy with the decision taken by Eros single-handedly. Sharing the CBFC notice on the deleted scenes, he wrote, “Congratulations. Here by all problems of Punjab are solved and Sikh youth have been saved. Happy to be back in La La land again. Next time you are threatened by a film please call Kishore Lulla directly on +91 **********. Eros knows how to solve matters in minutes.”
manmarziyaan kashyap deletes tweet Anurag Kashyap’s first tweet which he had to delete.

What happened after Kashyap’s tweet?

Twitter asked Anurag Kashyap to remove the tweet since he had openly shared the personal contact number of Kishore Lulla, Chairman of Eros International. The director then took to his Instagram handle and shared a screenshot of his chat with Twitter, where he shared how Twitter told him to take down the particular tweet. He even wrote this post might endanger his Instagram account too.

Here is what he wrote on Instagram – “My twitter activities get limited because of my one tweet . Hope they don’t deactivate my insta”
manmarziyaan anurag kashyap controversy A grab of Anurag Kashyap’s Instagram post.

What did Kashyap do after removing his tweet?

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who isn’t new to controversies and has faced similar trouble during the release of his Udta Punjab, did not give up after he was forced to delete his tweet. He soon tweeted again with a screenshot of his chat with Twitter. This time his words were same, but without the telephone number of Kishore Lulla. He wrote, “Before my tweet is taken down -Congratulations . Here by all problems of Punjab are solved and Sikh youth have been saved . Happy to be back in LaLa land again. Next time you are threatened by a film please call Kishore Lulla directly on Eros knows how to solve matters in minutes”

Tweets here
manmarziyaan kashyap tweet Anurag Kashyap’s second tweet on Manmarziyaan controversy. manmarziyaan controversy Screen grab of the chat Anurag Kashyap shared which he had with the Twitter support team.

What did Eros say after Kashyap’s tweet?

Manmarziyaan distributors Eros International soon issued a statement saying, “Colour yellow is the creative producer on Manmarziyaan. We have the deepest respect for all communities and it is our intention to maintain neutrality and never intentionally hurt or disrespect any religion or community. We have the greatest respect for the law of the land and follow and implement all guidance of the Censor Board which is the supreme authority for film content in the country.”

How did the cast react?

Actor Taapsee Pannu, who plays Rumi in Manmarziyaan, was the first one to show her disappointment over the turn of events. Without any direct attack, she tweeted, “I am sure this edit will assure that no Sikh will ever Smoke and no woman will ever think about ANYONE else while getting married in a Gurudwara. THIS surely will make Waheguru proud and assures that MY religion is the purest,most righteous and peaceful ! #Proud”
manmarziyaan taapsee controversy Taapsee Pannu’s tweet on Manmarziyaan controversy.

Who all reacted on the controversy?

Anurag Kashyap’s good friend and filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane tweeted, “The one time the censor board showed maturity and our spineless studios shat and ran. What a terrible precedent to set.”
manmarziyaan controversy vikramaditya Vikramaditya Motwane tweeted his support to Anurag Kashyap.