Kolkata: Milan Bhowmik’s ‘Danga – The Riot’, a film based on 1946 riots in Calcutta, was cleared for screening in West Bengal by the Calcutta High Court.
The film explores how Syama Prasad Mookerjee saved thousands of Hindus from certain annihilation in the Muslim League-triggered riots in Calcutta in August 1946 by forcing the British administration to act against the rioters.
The film stars Gajendra Chauhan in the lead role as Mookherjee.
The Court’s order came following film director Milan Bhowmik’s petition after his movie was not allowed to screen due to alleged pressure from the Bengal administration to cinema hall owners across the state.
During hearing, Judge Shampa Sarkar said, “Why should a movie on Syama Prasad Mookerjee be banned?” Later after completion of hearing, she ordered that the movie should be released.
Speaking to News18, the director of the movie Milan Bhowmik said, “We welcome the court’s order. It’s a great victory for us because we were intentionally harassed by the administration here in Bengal. On June 8, we are going to release the movie across the state.”
He said, “I am sure people of Bengal will like this movie. This movie is also a must watch for the youngsters to know Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s contribution in building the nation.”
“In Bengal, the hall owners were threatened, posters and banners were taken down to prevent the release of the movie. On May 18, we got to know that the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Uluberia, on April 27 had served an order of the 144(2) Cr PC within the sub division for maintaining public peace and tranquility. We had no other way but to move the Hon’ble High Court or restoration of right to expression and natural justice,” Bhowmik said.
The film was scheduled to be screened in 103 movie halls across the state after its release on April 27. But, Bhowmik received several calls from cinema hall owners refusing to screen his movie.
The movie features a poem penned by Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi and is already running successfully in Bihar, Jharkhand, Agartala and in Assam.
Rubbishing Bhowmik’s charges, Kolkata Police (KP) on April 28 had tweeted that there is no ban from the government on the film.
“The claims of the director of ‘Danga’ about the film not being allowed to release in WB are absolutely false. The government hasn’t banned the film. The onus is on theatres to screen it or not. Any threats can be reported to police…”, the Kolkata Police tweet read.
The Regional Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in Kolkata felt that the movie is ‘extremely polarising’. It felt that the movie might cause communal disharmony as it contains objectionable dialogues and scenes.
The movie was cleared by the CBFC’s Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) and was supposed to release on April 27.
Milan Bhowmik is also working on two movies including one on ‘Nirbhaya’ and the other on Princess Jahanara, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's daughter, and her liking towards Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.