Saturday, July 24, 2010

“Operation Green Hunt” — the Cultural War

BJP seeks ban on movie with Maoist theme

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Orissa Wednesday sought a ban on an Oriya film with a Maoist theme and accused its producer and actors of gloryfying the Left-wing extremists’ ideology.
A delegation representing the state youth unit of the party met Governor M.C. Bhandare and submitted a memorandum demanding a ban on the release of ‘Swayamsidha’ in which two leaders of the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) would be seen in prominent roles.
‘At a time when the country is struggling to fight Maoism, how could a movie like this be allowed to be screened? We want a ban on the release of the film,’ Bibhuti Jena, president of the BJP’s state youth wing, told reporters.
However, the producer of the movie, Prabhat Ranjan Mallick, denied the charge and said ‘it (the movie) was an attempt to bring the so-called Naxals (Maoists) to the mainstream’.
Sidhant Mohapatra, a BJD member of the Lok Sabha, will be seen in the role of a Maoist leader in the film.
Mohapatra has acted in over 100 films, mostly in Oriya. ‘Swayamsidha’ would be his first release after entering the Lok Sabha last year.
Another BJD Lok Sabha member, Prasanna Patsani, will be seen in the movie in a special appearance.
‘Mohapatra doing a role in the movie has gone to the extent of justifying Maoism and has glorified them. He has endorsed their activities,’ Jena said.
The movie was shot in the dense forests of Koraput district, which is considered a Maoist hotbed.
Jena suspects that Maoists have helped the actors and the producer, a charge they denied.

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