Adipurush, Om Raut, Ramayana
The multilingual 3D spectacle, which released on Friday amid much fanfare, stars Prabhas as Raghav, Kriti Sanon as Janaki and Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh

Allahabad HC: Will Centre act against ‘Adipurush’? What was censor board doing?

The Allahabad High Court has asked the Central government if it will act to protect public interest vis-à-vis the Hindi film Adipurush, which has run into a storm due to its controversial dialogues and scenes.

Judges Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Shree Prakash Singh on Tuesday (June 27) posted the matter for further hearing on Wednesday after telling the Deputy Solicitor General to get information from the Centre and the Central Board of Film Certification.

The Union government has powers under its revisional powers of the Cinematography Act, 1952 to change or restrict the exhibition category of films or even to suspend the screening of films.

The judges were not impressed by senior advocate SB Pandey’s argument that the producers of the movie had already put a disclaimer that the film does not depict the Ramayana.

Also read: Adipurush review: A flat retelling of India’s most famous epic; only Ravana roars

The court wondered whether such a disclaimer was enough since the film shows all the characters of the Ramayana, including Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman and Ravana.

“Then how the disclaimer would convince the people at large that the story is not from Ramayana?”

Hindu sentiments

In an obvious reference to Hindus, the judges also wondered if people’s sentiments were being allowed to hurt because people of one religion were tolerant.

“The one who is gentle should be suppressed? Is it so? It is good that it is about a religion, the believers of which did not create any public order problem. We should be thankful. We saw in the news that some people had gone to cinema halls (where the movie was being shown) and they forced them to close the hall. They could have done something else as well,” the bench said.

The court earlier asked: “What is it that the censor board keeps doing? What do you want to teach the future generations?” The judges also spoke about the absence of the producer, director and others during the hearing.

Watch: Adipurush trolled but Prabhas’s stardom unaffected | IMDb

The court allowed an application requesting the inclusion of Manoj Muntashir Shukla, the dialogue writer of the movie, as a party in the case.

Another advocate, Ranjana Agnihotri, representing one of the petitioners, contended that certain dialogues in the film and the portrayal of Lord Rama and others had deviated from the guidelines meant for such depictions.

Banning movie?

The petitioners have called for an immediate ban on the movie, saying it negatively impacts the sentiments of those who worship Lord Rama and has the potential to cause significant social disharmony due to the manner in which the Ramayana characters have been portrayed.

They asserted that the movie cast doubt on the integrity of the Ramayana and defamed the cultural heritage of Ayodhya as well as Hindu religion.

Adipurush is directed by Om Raut and stars Prabhas, Kriti Sanon, and Saif Ali Khan, among others. It was released on June 16.

The Deputy Solicitor General informed the court that some of the objectionable dialogues had been axed from the movie but the judges then asked what the censor board had been doing.

Also read: Ayodhya seers want Adipurush banned; police security for film’s writer

“That alone won’t work. What will you do with the scenes? Seek instructions, then we will definitely do whatever we want to do… In case the exhibition of the film is stopped, then the people whose feelings have been hurt, will get relief,” the court said.

Regarding the argument of the respondents that a disclaimer had been added in the film, the bench said, “Do the people who put the disclaimer consider the countrymen, and youth, to be brainless? You show Lord Rama, Lord Laxman, Lord Hanuman, Ravana, Lanka and then say it is not Ramayana?”

Meanwhile, another petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking a ban on Adipurush, according to Live Law, for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Hindus and devotees of various deities depicted in the movie by “destroying their fundamental values and characters” and modifying the ‘basic structure’ of Valmiki Ramayana.

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