Mumbai, August 7: Filmmaker Prakash Jha, whose Mumbai residence and office were ransacked by activists of Republican Party of India (RPI) on Saturday (August 6), confirmed that nobody got hurt and said he failed to understand the brouhaha over the release of his film Aarakshan, based on caste-based reservation in the Indian education system.
“The censor board (Central Board of Film Certification) has cleared the film without a single cut and with a U/A certificate. I am confident my film has examined the issue of reservation and caste divides with sensitivity. I don't understand why is everybody up in arms against my film. However, it's a democratic country, so everyone has a right to protest,” he added.
“The police have been very helpful in taking care of my office premises and dealing with the violent protests happening there. Nobody from my office has been hurt. And I'm very grateful for that,” Jha said in a statement.
The attack started around 5.30 p.m., according to Jha, who is currently in New Delhi, and will fly to Mumbai Sunday morning.
RPI chief Ramdas Athavale earlier said that his party would obstruct the release of the socio-political theme-based movie in Maharashtra if Jha did not change its “anti-Dalit” stance.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) had also termed the film “anti-Dalit”, and asked Jha to screen the film for it before release.
Talking about the protests, Jha said: “The RPI activists have been protesting outside my office. They have burnt photographs of me and posters of the film. They have also been trying to damage our publicity material and hoardings across the city.”
The movie, which features Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee and Prateik Babbar, is set to hit screens Aug 12.
But the 59-year-old filmmaker, known for his knack of picking sensitive social issues as subjects for his projects, said people should stop assuming the content of the film.
“The fact of the matter is that they have not seen the film. They are attacking me on the basis of presumptions and misconceptions about the treatment of the caste issue in Aarakshan. I am a law-abiding and responsible citizen and filmmaker. I feel it's only fair if my film is judged after it has released,” he said.