In a scathing open letter that has been made public, veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee has heavily criticised the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal administration.
Chatterjee’s letter was a response to the fact that a satirical movie called Bhobishyoter Bhoot was pulled off theatres two days after it was released in Kolkata. Sources say that certain parts of the movie were critical of the Trinamool Congress government. Additionally, the director of the movie – acclaimed filmmaker Anik Dutta – had also gotten into a confrontation with Mamata Banerjee when he criticised the life-sized posters of her at the Kolkata International Film Festival held in November 2018.
In the letter, written in Bengali, Soumitra has said:
"“I am shocked to hear that the movie Bhobishyoter Bhoot has been taken off theatres in Kolkata only a day after its release. This sounds like a revengeful act. There is enough reason to think that the administration has taken such a step because of certain statements made by director Anik Dutta at the last Kolkata International Film Festival. I can’t even find words to criticise this incident. Does this mean that no form of free speech will be tolerated in this country? Can we not keep anything in our films that the powers-that-be don’t approve of? I oppose this kind of fascist policy – no matter how hidden. I hope that people understand who is responsible for this, how undemocratic it is and will thereafter protest against this act.”" - Soumitra Chatterjee in his letter.
In a solidarity meet held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata on 19 February Soumitra called the incident “absolutely unprecedented”.
“For people like us, who are from the industry, this seems like a huge crime. We should not let such fascist works operate,” he added.
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