"YOUR freedom ceases exactly at the tip of MY nose" said Ajith to a nosy Karan in the 1996 blockbuster Kaadhal Kottai directed by Agathiyan, in Tamil. Even a perfunctory observation at the current affairs in the tinsel town does not seem to reflect anything close to the above statement as creative expressions find themselves in a rough weather now. There are quite a few incidents that seek to curb a scene(s) or a change the title of the film or the lyrics of a song, leading to a diluted vision of the creator.
The latest case in point being A R Murugadoss’s Thuppakki with Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay where it was alleged that a few dialogues in the film hurt the sentiments of Islamic brethren. Immediately producer and director of the film apologized to Muslim organizations and as a placating move, have chopped the scenes as requested by the religious outfits. The matter appears to be resolved.
In an event of a similar vein, a few Muslim organizations have asked Kamal Haasan to arrange for a special screening of his impending Vishwaroopam as they believe that his film had depicted them in a not so good light. And here the film has not been released yet!
And such events are not a one off case and audiences have been witness to many such episodes in the past too. To recall a few, Dhanush’s Uthamaputhiran received flak from a community in Coimbatore which rested only after the dialogues in question were muted. Kamal Haasan in fact has been at the receiving end many a times ranging from Sandiyar-Virumandi title issue to Manmadhan Ambu lyrics.
Talking about lyrics, brings to attention the recent outburst from Christian Associations seeking to remove a few words from Vairamuthu’s Para Para number in Seenu Ramasamy directed Neer Paravai which was subsequently heeded to. A R Rahman’s Hindi Hosanna number from Ek Deewana Thaa (Hindi remake of Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa) also did not go too well with Christian organizations.
In fact such resistances almost bordering on stifling creative expressions are aplenty these days. When analyzing, it is indeed sad to note sweeping statements being made about any religious or ethnic community. In a diverse nation like ours, we have assorted amalgam of populace in terms of caste, color, creed, moral principles and belief systems and it is definitely unfair to point a finger at just one religious group or hurt the sentiments of people in a provocative manner. There are extremists and moderates in all groups.
On the other hand, when viewed from the creative side, it is doubly sad for them for after having toiled hard to bring out their ‘baby’, crossing umpteen obstacles on the way and when they are told to amputate parts of their babies (in a metaphoric sense), it is bound to cause anguish and disturbances.
And when a film has been certified duly by a panel of eminent people from society in the Censor Board of Certification, there is a general belief that the necessary parameters have been met with holistically as regards the eligibility of a film hitting the screens with the pertinent grades.
Therefore, when scenes are requested to be chopped after the certification by Censor Board, it is akin to questioning the intelligence of the respectable people in the panel to whom a certain responsibility is given in good faith.
Hence, beyond all these, if problems do arise, then where do we draw the line? Who is right- The creative brains or the people on the other side?
There is no second opinion about the visual medium being the most powerful in today’s tech-centric world and unarguably, creators have a huge social responsibility. However cinema is also a by-product of society and is a chronicler of events of any time period which would be a reckoner of sorts for the future generations. And when there is a gag on the creators to express themselves, it is not going to be good for the society at large.
There are people out there who just to get their two minute fame, attempt all sorts of gimmickry to hassle the sublime minds. Hence it is essential to sift the wheat from the chaff and strike the right kind of balance. It is imperative that parties at both sides of the line understand this and function for a far reaching positive result for the society.
And let us hope that everyone follows what Ajith said in Kaadhal Kottai as mentioned in the opening lines of this write-up and respect other’s freedom while enjoying their own.
Let ‘live and let live’ be the ruling word!Respond to
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