Court clears ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ for screening in Madhya Pradesh

February 26th, 2008 - 11:52 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Jodhaa Akbar

Mumbai, Feb 26 (IANS) Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Jodhaa Akbar” will be screened once again in Madhya Pradesh after its producers UTV Motion Pictures won a case against the ban in the state’s high court Tuesday. “As of now we will start showing the film from tonight in the state. It was indeed unfortunate that we were forced to go to the court,” Ronnie Screwvala, CEO of UTV, told reporters at a press conference here.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Madhya Pradesh had Friday suspended the screening of the Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai starrer, a week after its release, fearing that it may cause a law and order problem in the state as a particular community was against the film’s content.

“We haven’t made any changes in the film. The censor board didn’t find anything objectionable in the content and cleared the film. Once the censor clears the film, we don’t think we have to make any corrections in it.”

“We were pressurised by exhibitors who were keen to release the film. In fact, they threatened to go on a strike if they weren’t allowed to screen the film. It’s unfortunate that we had to go to the court for our basic rights,” Screwvala said.

He also urged the Rajput community in Rajasthan to come and see the film.

The three-hour, 20-minute movie was released in 26 countries Feb 15, but banned in Rajasthan. The Karni Sena has been spearheading a campaign in the state against the movie for quite sometime.

The community alleged that Gowariker has presented Jodha Bai as Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Akbar’s wife, which is factually incorrect.

According to them, Jodha Bai was not the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber as shown in the film, but the daughter of Motaraja Udai Singh of Marwar. And she was married to Akbar’s son Salim alias Jehangir.

“From day one we are requesting these people to come and see the film and then form an opinion. Ashutosh has done enough TV shows explaining that there isn’t anything objectionable in the film.”

Screwvala said the film has done exceptionally well by grossing Rs.740 million.

“The film is doing exceptionally well in Australia, UAE and Britain,” he added.

In India, “Jodhaa Akbar” has grossed Rs.527 million, despite not having a release in Rajasthan, which UTV considers as one of the key markets for a film of this genre.

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