Bollywood film on former Indian PM is at the epicenter of a massive political controversy in India — and now there's a claim that it's projecting the country's political leaders in poor light
- In the Indian state of Bihar, a case has been filed against the lead actors — Anupam Kher of "New Amsterdam" and Akshaye Khanna — and others associated with the movie "
Accidental Prime Minister".
- The lawyer that filed the case alleges that he felt ‘hurt’ upon watching the promos of the upcoming movie and claims that the films projects India as well as its political leaders a 'poor light’.
- The President of the Maharashtra State Youth Congress, Satyajeet Tambe Patil, has demanded a 'special screening' of the movie citing that he is concerned about 'the incorrect representation of facts'.
- The "Accidental Prime Minister", set to launch on January 11, is facing controversy on social media after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s governing party, posted a tweet promoting the film.
- Users on social media are claiming that the making of the film is probably influenced by the political party showing the opposing party, Congress, in an unfavourable light.
A lawyer in the Indian state of Bihar has filed a petition against the people associated with movie about India’s former prime minister, Manmohan Singh. He is alleging that the promotional trailer of the movie has ‘hurt’ his sentiments. That includes the lead actor of "Accidental Prime Minister" Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna playing the former prime minister’s media advisor, Suzanne Bernert playing Sonia Gandhi and Aahana Kumra playing Priyanka Gandhi among others.
The PIL filed in local courts also claims that the movie projects India and its political leaders unfavourably to the rest of the world. It’s not only about India’s former prime minister, but also other noted Indian politicians like Lalu Prasad, Mayawati and another former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The petition has been filed under the sections of Indian Penal Code that relate to promoting enmity between different groups, sale of obscene objects, insult with intent to provoke breach of peace and criminal conspiracy.
What's the big deal?
The content of the biopic has been called into question after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the current ruling party of India's central government, posted a tweet promoting the film.
Riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years. Was Dr Singh just a regent who was hold… https://t.co/kIcWZrkVdu— BJP (@BJP4India) 1545926460000
The main point of contention seems to be that political parties aren’t normally seen propagating commercial films and the timing of the BJP sharing such an update ahead of the 2019 General Elections in India seems to be ill-advised.
Others who claim the film is unfair
The movie has created such controversy that the President of the Maharashtra State Youth Congress, Satyajeet Tambe Patil, went as far to write a letter to producer of the film demanding a ‘special screening’ ahead of its release.
Patil questioned the accuracy of the film stating that there is an ‘incorrect presentation of facts’.
The issue is that with the BJP tweeting about the film, most people on social media opine that the making if the film is influenced to show the opposing political party, Congress, in an unfavourable light.
A political party promoting a commercial film - hence endorsing that its self produced for propaganda and for defam… https://t.co/qZkgMIj0h5— Sadhavi Khosla (@sadhavi) 1545928238000
Some even believe that this isn't anything more than a publicity stunt.
Sources: Tickets to #AccidentalPrimeMinister will be available at @bookmyshow & all BJP offices.— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) 1545989167000
Can’t wait for when they make The Insensitive Prime Minister. So much worse than being the accidental one.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) 1545979469000
Actors and others associated with the 'Accidental Prime Minister' stand by it
Inspite of differing political views of many of us I've never seen #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister as a film that takes… https://t.co/xH7dHnF5m9— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) 1545905360000
Kher also maintains that the movie is an accurate depiction of events.
I am not going to back off. This is my life’s best performance. #DrManmohanSingh will agree after seeing the film t… https://t.co/6Zwe78owQX— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) 1545989498000
He even wrote to YouTube about how the trailer for the movie isn’t appearing in the platform’s search results.
Dear @YouTube!!! I am getting messages & calls that in parts of our country if you type, trailer of… https://t.co/eDvmTZeehI— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) 1546345365000
The political party at the center of the controversy, BJP, retaliated to naysayers claiming that political leaders like Rahul Gandhi, the president of Indian National Congress, and the Arvind Kerjiwal, the chief minister of Delhi, tweeted about "Udta Punjab" — a film on Punjab's drug problem — in the past. That too at a time when BJP's ally, Akali Dal, was the ruling party in the Indian state of Punjab.
Manmohan Singh declined to comment on the release of the movie when he was asked for his reaction outside the Congress office earlier today.
Through all the needless controversy over The Accidental Prime Minister, the one person who comes across with digni… https://t.co/l8ZE2IbhxQ— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) 1546023387000
The endorsement by the BJP could undercut the credibility of the movie that’s set to come out on January 11, 2019.
The 'Accidental Prime Minister' stars Anupam Kher playing the lead character, Manmohan Singh, and Akshaye Khanna playing Sanjaya Baru, the former Prime Minister’s media advisor.