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Allahabad High Court slams makers of Adipurush for testing the tolerance level of Hindus

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The Allahabad High Court today has observed as to why the tolerance level of a particular religion (referring to Hindus) was being put to the test by them.

Slamming the makers of the movie Adipurush for portraying religious characters including Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman in an objectionable manner, the Bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Justice Shree Prakash Singh orally asked whether it was correct to suppress the one who was gentle?

Noting that some people went to the cinema halls where the movie was being exhibited and forced the cinemal hall owners to close the hall, the Bench said it should be thankful that the believers of a particluar religion do not create any public order problem. Those who froced closure of the cinema halls could have done something else also, it added.

The High Court further noted that CBFC should have done something while granting certificate in the matter.

It remarked that if people would close their eyes on this issue also, just because it was said that people of this particular religion were very tolerant, would it mean that their tolerance should be put to test?

These significant observations were made by the Court while dealing with 2 Public Interest Litigation (PIL) pleas filed against the exhibition and dialogues of the Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan and Kriti Sanon starrer movie.

Noting that religious scriptures, towards which people were sensitive, should not be touched or encroached upon, the Bench stressed that the petitions before it were not at all ‘propaganda petitons’ and that they were concerned with a genuine issue.

They said the issue here (in the PILs) was the way in which the movie has been made. There were some scriptures which were exemplary and worthy of worship. People recite Ramcharitmanas before leaving their homes, noted the Bench.

During the course of hearing, the High Court expressed displeasure over the portrayal of Lord Hanuman, Lord Ram, Lord Laxman and Sita Mata in the movie, as if they were nothing.

Regarding the argument of the respondents that a disclaimer had been added in the film, the Bench asked whether the people who put the disclaimer considered the countrymen, especially the youth to be brainless?

It said when the movie makers were showing Lord Ram, Lord Laxman, Lord Hanuman, Ravana and Lanka in their film, they could not say that it was not Ramayana.

The Court questioned the Deputy Solicitor General of India as to how would he defend the movie when it contained prima facie objectionable scenes and dialogues. The Court, however, asked him to seek instructions in the matter from the competent authority.

Further, when the Dy SGI informed the bench that certain objectionable dialogues of the movie have been changed, the bench responded that it would not work alone.

It ordered the Deputy SG to seek instructions and said that it would then ‘definitely’ do whatever the High Court wanted to do.

It observed that in case the exhibition of the movie was stopped, then the people whose feelings have been hurt, would get relief.

Before the Court, Counsel for one of the petitioners, Ranjana Agnihotri pointed out that this was not the first time it has happened and that it had happened in movies such as PK, Mohalla Assi and Haider also.

Lastly, the Court allowed the application seeking to implead the dialogue writer of the movie Manoj Muntashir Shukla as party respondent in the PIL plea and directed for the issuance of notice to him.

Essentially, the Court was dealing with a PIL moved by Social Activists Kuldeep Tiwari and Bandana Kumar through advocates Ranjana Agnihotri and Sudha Sharma last year in December stating that the movie cast aspersion on the characters of the great epic Ramayana and tarnishes the image of the cultural heritage of Ayodhya and Hindu religion in general.

The plea further stated that the movie’s trailer is clumsy and indecent, which has resulted in hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

Though the HC, while hearing the matter in January this year, issued notice to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), no reply has been filed by the board in the matter.

Last week, an amendment plea was moved seeking the impleadment of the Film’s dialogue writer Manoj Muntashir Shukla as party respondent in the PIL plea.

The amendment application also objected to the dialogues written by Shukla terming them to be ‘ridiculous, ‘filthy’ and ‘against the glory of Ramayan yug’.

Manoj Muntashir has attacked Sanatan Sanskriti, and while writing dialogues of the film, he has completely destroyed the language of our deities, hampered character of our icons & role models…

It offends sentiments of Hindu Community by presenting the religious characters in an inaccurate and inappropriate manner that goes against descriptions found in the works of authors like Maharishi Valmiki & Saint Tulsidas” says the Amendment plea.

As per the petitioners, the occasion to file the amendment plea in the matter arose in view of the fact that the movie has now been released, thereby generating criticism and resentment from across the country due to inaccurate and inappropriate portrayal of Hindu religious characters including Ravana and Lord Hanuman.

“The portrayal of characters such as Ravana and Lord Hanuman in the film is completely divorced From Indian Civilisation. The bearded look of Ravan played by Saif Ali Khan in the Film is hurting the sentiments of the Hindu Community as the Brahmin Ravan is shown having raw red meat making a ghastly face in a wrong manner which is an insult to Hindu civilization,” the amendment plea avers.

The plea further states that any variation with the hairstyle, beard, moustache and dressing manner including appearances of the Hindu religious characters as per Ramayana is bound to hurt the sentiments of worshiper’s devotees and religious believers.

In this regard, the amendment plea prays for a direction to the opposite parties to remove the objectionable dialogues, and scenes from the film which depict the religious characters in an ugly manner.

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