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FW: Appeal to overturn "Aakhrosh" rejected. (Please circulate)

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  • Imran
    ... From: ramesh pimple Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 02:21:58 -0700 (PDT) To: najidhussain@yahoo.com, shrikumar@attbi.com, abraham@un.org,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2003
      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

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      ?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
      March 2003.

      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
      public memory.

      ?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
      Ramesh Pimple
      Geeta Chawda
      Tel:- 26358302 Mobile 9821109295
      002, Gr. Flr., Parasrampuria Tower No. 6,
      Lokhandwala, Andheri ?W.
      Mumbai ? 400 053.


      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
      Writer and
      Narayan Desai, a Gandhian thinker and Social
      from Gujarat.
      Nikhil Wagle, Editor- Mahanagar and Activist.
      Adv. Sebastian, Human Rights Lawyer and Senior
      Functionary- Committee for the Protection Democratic

      Rights CPDR.
      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

      Ramesh Pimple
      Chief Co -ordinator

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