FW: Appeal to overturn "Aakhrosh" rejected. (Please circulate)
From: ramesh pimple <ramesh_45_2000@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 02:21:58 -0700 (PDT)
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Subject: urgent press note and invitation
The Editor/ Chief Reporter
Sub: Film certification Appellate Tribunal of
Information and Broadcasting Ministry, New Delhi,
rejects the appeal of producers of ?Aakrosh?, a Film
on Gujarat 2002 Communal Violence, to grant Censor
?Aakrosh?, a film made by People?s Media Initiative
for Manima Creations on victims and survivors of
Gujarat 2002 communal carnage, a film which has given
voice to their suffering and woes, their plight and
anguish who are still to come to terms with the
meaninglessness of violence and death thrust on them.
The Film was rejected by Censor Board-Mumbai for
public screening and exhibition on 04-03-03 giving
reasons that it shows the Government and Police in bad
light. We appealed to Revising Committee of Censor
Board- Mumbai and the Revising Committee too, uphold
earlier decision of the Censor Board Committee by
stating similar reasons through its order dated 31st
We protested the decision of the Censor Board fearing
that Government wants to black out shameful Gujarat
Communal Carnage ? Genocide and wants to cover up the
issue, we feared that there is direct attack on
freedom of expression and right of information
guaranteed under Indian Constitution, we felt that
political Censorship has slowly begun in India as our
second film ?Chords on the Richter Scale? post Kutch
Earthquake 2001 situation in Gujarat too got banned by
the Censor Board. We made appeal to Film Certification
Appellate Tribunal of I&B Ministry New Delhi to review
the decision of Censor Board Mumbai and lift the ban
imposed on both the Films.
Appellate Tribunal of Information and Broadcasting
Ministry, New Delhi, consisting Hon?ble Justice Shobha
Dikshit as Chairperson and N. Thippanna, Dr. Firoza
Bano as members heard the matter on 11th August 2003
and gave its verdict and order was communicated to us
through Secretary of FCAT through letter dated
24-09-2003. Appeal was made under section 56 of the
Cinematographer Act 1952, the main reason in its order
to uphold total ban on the film ?it shows scenes of
violence, sorrow and suffering, men and women mostly
of one community have been shown as victims as is
clear from their language, dresses, etc.?
It was most unfortunate decision and shocking that the
Tribunal Committee see religion in the faces of
victims and survivors as we had avoided to give names
of the victims as we feel that victims are victims and
do not belong to any community, religion, race and
caste. The Communal forces in India are forcing
communal identity and dividing people.
In Gujarat today, justice and rehabilitation of the
affected people is still a distant dream. Praveen
Togadia of VHP is on hate campaign spreading communal
venom throughout the country and instead of Government
stopping him, chooses to block Gujarat carnage from
?Aakrosh? has received worldwide appreciation and
accolades, it has got selected for special screening
at Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland as Human Right
Film, it got selected out of hundreds of entries to
the South Asian Film Festival, Indo-British Film
Festival, Milan Film Festival and so on. Even Sardar
Vallabhai University in Anand ?Gujarat has kept
special screening of this film for their students only
to tell that how innocents have suffered in the
violence in Gujarat and many Universities, Educational
Institutions are considering ?Aakrosh? as an ideal
film to preach importance of peace and communal
harmony and that ultimately it is the common man who
suffers in any kind of violence. Violence only serves
the purpose of the ruling class to divert main issue
from the public mind.
It is important that people of India and the world
must know what happened in Gujarat and must not be
repeated elsewhere. We also feel that killing of
innocent passengers in buses, trains is an act of mad
fundamentalist group and we condemn this barbaric act,
we feel that basic problems of our society is yet to
be addressed and resolved i.e. poverty, unemployment,
hunger, discrimination, mindless exploitation, etc.
Instead of addressing to these basic issues, religious
jingoism is imposed on the people so that they remain
divided. The cry and anguish of people will motivate
film makers more and more to make such films, writers,
poets, artists, will be inspired to write more on it.
Government or censor Board cannot block our mind and
heart, we will continue to raise our voice and our
endeavor to give voice to the common man will
We will be appealing against the decision of Appellant
Tribunal by challenging it in Mumbai High Court soon.
For People?s Media Initiative
Tel:- 26358302 Mobile 9821109295
002, Gr. Flr., Parasrampuria Tower No. 6,
Lokhandwala, Andheri ?W.
Mumbai ? 400 053.
INVITATION ? PRESS CONFERENCE
A protest meeting is organized on 2nd October 2003 to
protest the political Censorship and decision of Film
certification Appellate Tribunal of Information and
Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India upholding
the ban on ?Aakrosh?, a short film on Gujarat Communal
Violence 2002 and continuation of ban on Documentary
Film ? Chords on the Richter Scale?, a documentary
film on post Kutch Earthquake 2001 situation in
Gujarat. A small peace film ?Chale Chalo? produced by
Ramesh Pimple, directed by Shyam Ranjankar will be
released to Press and Activists at the occasion.
Subject : Political Censorship
Speakers : Vijay Tendulkar, noted progressive Marathi
Narayan Desai, a Gandhian thinker and Social
Nikhil Wagle, Editor- Mahanagar and Activist.
Adv. Sebastian, Human Rights Lawyer and Senior
Functionary- Committee for the Protection Democratic
Suma Jossan, Film Maker.
Shyam Ranjankar, Film Maker.
Jatin Desai ? Journalist, Activist.
Anthony Swamy ? Lokshai Hakk Sangathana.
Place : Press Club,
Near Azad Maidan,
Mumbai ? 400 001.
Time : 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Date : 2nd October 2003 ? Thursday
There will first be Press Conference at 3:00 p.m.
followed by address to the gathering.
All are requested to attend the meet and make protest
For People?s Media Initiative
Chief Co -ordinator
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