The Election Commission, while citing its objections to the film PM Narendra Modi has mentioned 17 dialogues in different scenes, that led to the stalling of the biopic by the poll body, The Indian Express (IE) reported.
In a report submitted to the Supreme Court, which was accessed by the media house, the EC has called the film “unabashedly unidimensional.”
The biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a “hagiography”, which treats the subject with undue reverence, and its public screening during poll campaign will “tilt the electoral balance”, the EC told the apex court. The movie, starring Vivek Oberoi, was slated to release on 5 April.
In its 20-page report submitted to the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the poll panel said that the biopic "produces a political environment where an individual acquired cult status" and its public screening during the period when model code of conduct is in operation would favour a particular political party.
The Indian Express, from the report, has quoted 17 instances from the report, a few of which are:
At 21 minutes, 38 seconds:
Modi, played by Vivek Oberoi, says: “Rashtravaad hi meri sampatti hai, janta hi mera dhan hai… sar uthega Tirange ke liye, awaaz uthegi awaam ke liye (Nationalism is all that I have acquired and the people are my wealth… I’ll raise my head for the tricolour and I’ll raise my voice for the common people).”
At 33 mins, 28 secs:
‘Modi’: “Chawaalis saalon se ye baatein hi kiye jaa rahe hain. Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin mante. Seedha chetawani do Pakistan ko ki Kashmir chhodo varna hum tumhe tod denge (They have only been talking for the last 44 years. Punishment is justice for the unjust. Warn Pakistan that it should leave Kashmir or else we will ruin them).”
At 35 mins, 11 secs:
An ‘Indian Army Major’ says: “Apni toh bas ek hi baat hai ki ek din ek sachha mard Dilli ki kursi par baithe. Jis din usne hamare haath khol diye, un saalon ke ghar main ghus kar unhain maarenge (I wish one day a real man comes to power in Delhi. The day that man gives us a free hand, we’ll hit them inside their homes).”
At 1 hour 21 mins, 49 secs:
‘Minister’: “Haan pagal ho gaya hoon aur mujhe pagal banaya Modi ne. Na khata hai, na khane deta hai. Na sota hai, na sone deta hai. (I’m going crazy and it’s Modi who is driving me crazy. He doesn’t get bribed nor allows anyone else to. He doesn’t sleep and doesn’t let’s others too).”
At 1hr, 42 mins, 9 secs:
‘Modi’: “Pakistan ko janm kisne diya? 1947 main akhand Bharat ke tukde-tukde kis party ne kiye? Agar Nehru ji ki jagah Sardar Patel PM hote, toh na hum Cheen ki ladaai haarte, na aadha Kashmir Pakistan ke pass hota, aur na hi aatankwaad ki wajah se humare veer sipahiyon ke dar sarhad pe katate (Who gave birth to Pakistan? Who broke our country into pieces in 1947? If Sardar Patel, instead of Nehru, was our PM then neither would we have have lost the war with China nor would Pakistan have taken half of Kashmir away, and nor would our brave soldiers have lost their lives because of terrorism).”
What the EC Said
The EC said, "There are several scenes depicting a major opposition party as corrupt and showing them in poor light. Their leaders have been depicted in such a manner that their identification is clear and obvious to the viewers."
It said that the biopic was more than a biography and was a “hagiography” (which treats the subject as saints and gives undue reverence) and the construct of the movie was “unabashedly uni-dimensional”, which puts an individual on a higher pedestal through use of specific symbols, slogans and scenes.
The report was submitted after the apex court had, on 15 April, directed the EC to re-examine its earlier order and take an informed decision on banning pan-India the release of the biopic after watching the full movie.
The court had asked the poll panel to provide its report to the producer of the movie.
“The committee is of the considered view that the public screening of the movie ‘PM Narendra Modi’ during the period of model code of conduct will tilt the electoral balance of the particular political party, therefore, the public screening of the movie ‘PM Narendra Modi’ should not be allowed till last date of poll on 19 May in the ongoing elections,” the report said.
The report further said,
"“Eulogising of the character Narendra Modi is very clear right through the movie. More than biography, it is hagiography.” It also said that the biopic “produces a political environment where an individual acquired cult status. The construct of this 135-minute movie is unabashedly uni-dimensional, which puts an individual on a higher pedestal through use of specific symbols, slogans and scenes. It ends up eulogising an individual, giving him a saintly status”." - The reportOpposition’s Staunch Objection to the Film
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for film producers who have challenged the EC's ban on the biopic's release till the current general elections are over, had earlier told the top court that the poll panel has taken the decision after watching a two-minute promo, and not the entire movie.
EC’s counsel Amit Sharma had said that the entire movie was not available and a decision to ban the release was taken after watching the trailer. The bench had then asked the poll panel to watch the full movie and then take an informed decision on whether its release should be banned or not.
The EC had, on 10 April, stalled the release of the film until the polls end, asserting that any biopic material with the potential to disturb the level-playing field during elections should not be displayed.
The commission, in a separate order, had also directed the producers "not to exhibit the film titled PM Narendra Modi till further orders". The film was earlier set to release on 11 April.
Acting on the complaints of political parties, including the Congress, the poll panel had also said that any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospects, directly or indirectly, shall not be put on display in electronic media in the area where MCC is in force.
The Left had also opposed the release of the film, saying it would disturb the level-playing field for other parties in the election and was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
The Modi biopic, starring Vivek Oberoi, has been the most-talked about movie this election season. Directed by Omung Kumar, it tells the story of Modi's rise to power from his humble beginnings.
The apex court had, on 9 April, dismissed a petition filed by Congress leader Aman Panwar for a stay on the release of the biopic, saying the Election Commission would be an "appropriate" place to seek the redressal.
The apex court had said it was not entertaining the petition for the stay on the release of the film which would be "premature" in view of the fact that the movie is yet to be certified by the Censor Board.
It said that, even if the film is released on 11 April, as claimed by the Congress leader, it will be appropriate for him to seek a redressal from the Election Commission.
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