Oberoi: Opposition to PM Narendra Modi painful

Mumbai: PM Narendra Modi, a film based on the political life of India’s current Prime Minister featuring Vivek Oberoi, is finally going to be released in cinema houses on 5 April. Earlier, the movie was slated to be released on 12 April, a day after the first phase of the election is scheduled to begin.

The film has also got a green signal from the Delhi High Court that rejected a PIL questioning the film’s release date. The movie’s trailer has already been released.

PM Narendra Modi has been in news since the trailer of the film was released. All the opposition parties, including the Congress, have alleged that the film’s release just prior to the Lok Sabha Elections is a sheer violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MoC). It further alleged that the BJP was trying to woo the voters through this film.

[pullquote]Actress and Congress Leader Nagma, who was present during the conversation, said that big stars like Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan’s wife and Shahrukh Khan are not talking about this film[/pullquote]

However, Oberoi, who plays Narendra Modi in the film, had this to say when interviewed by a reporter: “It is a free country and so, I am allowed to make a film and also release it. I am surprised that people like Nagma who also belongs to the film fraternity is also opposing the film. Nagma is my senior and she is not supporting the fact that the film should be allowed to be released.”

Taking a veiled dig at the Congress, Oberoi said, “We were made into soft targets, we were accused. It has its own history, right from the time that you banned Aandhi, you banned Kissa Kursi Ka. Why have you been doing this for the last 40 years? ”

Raising the issue of freedom of expression, Oberoi said, “If you are a tolerant country, why should not a film like PM Narendra Modi be allowed to be released?”

Oberoi said that he strongly felt that all kinds of films should be allowed to be released.

Actress and Congress Leader Nagma, who was present during the conversation, said that big stars like Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan’s wife and Shahrukh Khan are not talking about this film.

In response to this, Vivek said, “I am going to them and am talking to them. I am asking them that ‘if you don’t believe in intolerance, why are you not coming out and supporting this movie from the front?'”


Nandita Das gets more creative fulfilment from direction

New Delhi: Nandita Das says she enjoys both acting and direction, but being behind the camera gives her more creative fulfilment. The actor-filmmaker says direction helps her in highlighting her concerns and starting conversations on various socio-political issues.

“It (acting) is less demanding than direction. But while the direction is far more time consuming and challenging, it is also more fulfilling, both creatively and emotionally. But each has its merit and I feel no reason to choose as I would like to do both,” Nandita said in an interview.

The critically-acclaimed director, who has helmed films like Firaaq and Manto, said one should not be afraid to tell the stories he or she believes in.

“For me, art remains a means to an end. I am more of a journey-person, so I don’t feel the pressure of reaching anywhere in particular. That comes with the benefit of not being afraid of failure, at least in the conventional sense of the word.

How direction happened, Nandita tells her story

“If you have strong convictions and courage things automatically follow. When I did Fire, I didn’t know if I’d have a second film as an actor. Similarly, when I did Firaaq, I didn’t know I will direct a film,” she said.

About four years ago, she had tweeted:

Nandita will be seen in the new version of Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai? directed by Soumitra Ranade. She describes it as a “conceptual” remake as the makers have only taken the seed of the idea.

A poster of the original film

The original Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai is a 1980 Bollywood film directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza based on his own story. The film featured Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil in its lead roles.

“The film is entirely Soumitra’s take on how he sees the country today and the angst of the youth. I did it for nostalgia, as the original was an iconic film. It’s our tribute to it and I equally did it for Soumitra, who has been a friend for over a decade.”

When Nandita first saw the 1980 cult classic she said she could relate to the angst of the protagonist, which was played by Naseeruddin Shah.

According to her, the film deals with the pain of Albert, who probably represents many in society.

Asked about the relevance of the new film, Nandita said the issues of ordinary citizens from poverty to unemployment still exist.

“The earlier Albert Pinto… was made during a critical time in our history. It was the post-Emergency era. The Jayaprakash Narayan movement had failed to provide a stable government at the centre. We were at crossroads.

“Today, we are in a similar predicament, where politics and conversations, have all become so polarised. Divisive forces are distracting us from the real problems of unemployment, poverty and inequity. There is anger simmering among the youth, the farmers, the marginalised, and that is the political undertone that the film has,” she said.

Nandita believes, today there is no dearth of issues that can make one angry but one should find ways to make the world a compassionate place.

“I feel sad that we have normalised blatant inequality and inequity and the divisive powers are further polarising us in the name of nationality, religion, caste, class, gender, sexual preference and more.

“To find productive ways is a conscious choice if we want a more just and compassionate world. Albert… is a step in that direction. I think the audience will connect with his anger and it will trigger a deeper reflection on their own angst and their will to change things for the better.


Manto: Nawazuddin Siddiqui shines as the legendary Saadat Hasan Manto


Naqvi, Owaisi slam Imran Khan’s comment on Indian minorities

New Delhi: The BJP Sunday lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan over his barb at India on treatment of minorities, terming his country “a land of atrocities against minorities” who have been “persecuted” there since its birth in 1947.

Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi used a Hindi proverb and described Khan’s comments as a case of a cat going on a pilgrimage after eating 100 mice (Sau chuhe khake billi Haj ko chali).In hard-hitting remarks against Pakistan, Naqvi said that number of minorities like Hindus, Sikhs and Christians have fallen by almost 90% in that country since its birth in 1947 as they were hounded by Islamic fundamentalists in collusion with its government.

Unlike Pakistan, where minorities were killed, forced to convert or persecuted out of the country, in India they have grown and are an equal partner in development, Naqvi asserted. In the neighbouring country, minorities are barely two to three per cent of its population, he said.

Targeting Khan, Naqvi named a number of popular Indian artistes, including Yusuf Khan better known as Dilip Kumar, and Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan, and noted that generations of Indians have admired them.

“Can Imran Khan name a single Pakistani artiste who has come from a minority community and been liked as much as these actors are in India,” Naqvi said.

The Union minister also had a word of advice for veteran Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, whose comments expressing concern over mob violence in the country were seized upon by Imran Khan to claim on Saturday that he will show the Indian government how to treat minorities.

“Naseeruddin Shah should also consider that such a sweeping statement that is also factually incorrect causes a lot of harm and is used by anti-India forces to target our country,” Naqvi said.

Shah had cited the murder of a police inspector in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr by a mob protesting the alleged slaughter of cow to express his concern. Slamming Pakistan, Naqvi said, “It is a land of atrocities against minorities. It is a land where the blood of minorities artists been spilled over the decades. For it to lecture us on minority rights is a case of a cat going on a pilgrimage after eating 100 mice.

“Minorities’ constitutional, social and democratic rights in India have always been secure, he said, adding that Pakistan’s ill-treatment of its minorities has been recorded by various global bodies, including the United Nations.


Member of Parliament and AMIM president Asauddin Owaisi took to Twitter to hit out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan over the latter’s remark that he would show the Narendra Modi government “how to treat minorities”.

In a tweet on Sunday, Owaisi said Khan should instead take a lesson from India’s inclusive politics and minority right.

“According to the Pakistani Constitution, only a Muslim is qualified to be President. India has seen multiple Presidents from oppressed communities. It’s high time Khan sahab learns something from us about inclusive politics & minority rights,” the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief said.


नसीरुद्दीन शाह को ग़ुस्सा क्यों आता है?

चार दिन पहले अभिनेत्री सायरा बानो अपने पति दिलीप कुमार के ट्विटर हैंडिल से एक ट्वीट करती हैं। उस ट्वीट में दिलीप कुमार के बंगले को बचाने की भावुक अपील है। चौबीस घंटे भी नहीं बीते थे कि प्रधानमंत्री मोदी ने उस ट्वीट का खुद संज्ञान लिया और महाराष्ट्र के मुख्यमंत्री को तत्काल संबंधित मामले को सुलझाने की हिदायत दी। कहने की ज़रूरत है कि दिलीप कुमार और सायरा बानो भले अल्पसंख्यक समुदाय से आते हैं लेकिन उनकी आवाज़ को नज़रअंदाज़ नहीं किया गया।

हिन्दुस्तान का एक सिरफिरा आशिक हामिद निहाल अंसारी फ़िल्मी अंदाज़ में देश की सरहद लांघकर अपनी माशूका से मिलने पाकिस्तान पहुँच जाता है। उसकी रिहाई के लिए देश के बड़े राजनेता एड़ी-चोटी का ज़ोर लगा देते हैं। नतीज़तन आज वह अपने मुल्क़ हिन्दुस्तान में उन्मुक्त सांस ले रहा है। उसके कुनबे वाले देश को लाख-लाख दुआएं दे रहे हैं।

इसी देश में एक कमज़र्फ़ अभिनेता है नसीरूद्दीन साहेब। आजकल बेचारे बहुत डरे हुये हैं। यूं तो इनका जीवन काल्पनिक स्क्रिप्ट और जज़्बाती संवादों में हीं गुज़रा है, लेकिन लगता है इनमें भी एक अपूरित पाॅलिटिकल महत्वाकांक्षा है, जो परवान चढ़ने को बेताब है।

नसीर साहेब, शुक्र मनाइए, आप हिंदोस्तान में हैं और तमाम बुराइयों के बावज़ूद हिन्दुस्तानियों में अभी बहोत सलाहियत बची हुई है। आप फर्ज़ कीजिए यदि आपका कुनबा पाकिस्तान में होता और यहीं ज़ुबान आपने पाक की सरज़मी पर खोली होती तो आपके हलक़ को खींचकर लबों को ख़ामोश कर दिया जाता। लेकिन हिन्दोस्तान में तो फिरकापरस्तों को भी लबों की आज़ादी मयस्सर है। बोल कि लब आज़ाद हैं तेरे!

नसीर जी, आप ख़ुशक़िस्मत हैं कि हिन्दुस्तान का पीएम एक सनातनप्रेमी है, जिसके कट्टरता के किस्से ख़ामख़्वा बढ़ा-चढ़ा कर पेश किये जाते हैं। जबकि वह ऐसा नहीं है। आप ही की तरह पिछले कुछ सालों से हमारे हामिद अंसारी साहेब और आमिर खान साहेब भी डर रहे हैं। इन लोगों की देखा-देखी दलाई लामा भी डरने का कोई मौका अब नहीं चूकते। 

बाॅलीवुड की धड़कन, नकचढ़ा शाहरूख डरने का स्वांग कर रहा था। फिर अमेरिकी सुरक्षाधिकारियों ने इतनी बार उसकी पतलून उतारी कि अब वह “डर” के नाम से कांपता है। उसकी नज़र अब डर पे नहीं, पतलून पे रहती है। उसे कई बार स्कैन किया गया था। एक बार उसी मिज़ाज में आप भी विद फ़ेमिली अमेरिका घूम आइए, डर काफ़ूर हो जायेगा।

इन लोगों के साथ आपको भी बताना चाहता हूं ..हमारा एक पड़ोसी नजीबुल्लाह भी था। उसके किस्से शायद आपके ज़ेहन से उतर गये हैं। वह भी इस्लामपरस्त मुल्क़ का एक लोकप्रिय सियासतदां था।

बेनज़ीर भुट्टो का किस्सा फ़िल्मी नहीं है। वह चौबीस कैरेट शुद्ध इस्लामी देश की नेत्री थीं। उनका हश्र उन्हीं के देश में कैसा हुआ, यह बताने की ज़रूरत नहीं। यदि आपको कोई भूलवश पाकिस्तान जाने को कह दे तो आपकी त्यौरियां चढ़ जायेंगी, पूरे देश में असहिष्णुता का जलजला फूटने लगेगा।

नसीर जी, आप एक कलाकार हैं। हिन्दुस्तानी आवाम धर्म-मजहब को पीछे धकेलकर कलाकारों का एहतेराम करती है। यहां की आबोहवा में पल-बढ़कर भी इस रवायत को आप न समझ पाये तो यह किसी कुफ़्र से कम नहीं है।

हुज़ूर, पाकिस्तान के मक़बूल कव्वाल अमजद साबरी की हत्या दो साल पहले पाकिस्तान में कर दी गयी। आप पढ़े-लिखे और ज़हीन इंसान हैं। उन वज़हों की तफ़्तीश कर लीजिए, आप मुतमईन हो जायेंगे।
जनाब, हमारे पड़ोसी मुल्क़ पाकिस्तान में कंदील बलोच हुआ करती थी। एक आज़ाद ख़याल की बिंदास लड़की। आपको शायद मालूम नहीं उसके भाई ने ख़ुद उसकी सांसो पर पाबंदी लगा दी। जानते हैं क्यों? क्योंकि वह बोलना चाहती थी ‘बोल कि लब आज़ाद हैं तेरे।’ वह नामुराद थी, उसे आपकी तरह डरने का मौका नहीं मिला।

नसीरूद्दीन शाह जी, आप पर भी वामपंथी पाखंड तारी हो चुका है। अरे मियां ! इसी हिन्दुस्तान में जामा मस्जिद का एक इमाम भी रहता है। वह खुलेआम सर्वोच्च न्यायालय और कानून व्यवस्था को चुनौती देता है। दुनिया की सबसे बड़ी जम्हूरियत की छाती पर वह मूंग दलता है। कुछ दिन उसके साथ रहिए, यकीन मानिये आपका डर हिरन हो जायेगा।

ख़ैर, जाने दीजिए, आप तो प्रोग्रेसिव आर्टिस्ट हैं। इमाम-किमाम से आपको क्या लेना-देना ? मेरा एक मशविरा है आपके लिए। कुछ दिन आप हैदराबाद के तुनकमिजाजी बयार में खुली सांस लीजिए, कुछ दिन उधर बिताइए। वहां लंदन से पढ़े-लिखे दो नवाब रहते हैं, कायदे-कानून में भी पारंगत, असदुद्दीन और अकबरूद्दीन ओवैसी। ये कमाल के जांबाज़ हैं। बड़ा भाई सायनाइड है, और छोटा आरडीएक्स। जिस मुल्क़ में आप अपने परिवार को लेकर फ़िक्रमंद हैं, उसी मुल्क़ में वे हिन्दुओं को पाँच मिनट में जेनोसाइड करने का माद्दा रखते हैं। मोदी और योगी का तो ऐसा माखौल उड़ाते हैं कि मत पूछिए।
इंशा अल्लाह, आपको उनसे बड़ी ताक़त मिलेगी!

नसीर साहेब, हमारे यहां कट्टर हिन्दू भी साला प्याज-लहसुन खा लेता है तो घरवाले उसका बर्तन अलग कर देते हैं। वह भला कत्ल-ओ-गारत में क्यूं फंसेगा ? उससे डरना हास्यास्पद है। अगर डरना हीं है तो उनसे डरिए जिनके मनोरंजन, मजहब और आहार तक में हिंसा का हीं कारोबार है।

जिनसे आप डरने का पाखंड कर रहे हैं, वो तो अजीब लोग हैं। देखिए न, दो महीने से हमारे महाबली हनुमान जी लैब में पड़े हुये हैं। कल एक सिरफिरे ने हनुमान जी को इस्लामी तक बता दिया। क्या मोहम्मद साहेब के लिए आपका मजहब इतना रंध्र और अवकाश दे पायेगा? शायद नहीं।
एंजाॅय करिये! आप हिन्दुस्तानी कलाकार हैं।

Ambuj Pandey


Aiyaari rakes up Adarsh housing scam

Mumbai: Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary has finally got the censor board certification for 16 February release.  After viewing the film, the CBFC asked for it to be screened for officials of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) which asked for multiple changes. It was only after these were incorporated that the film was granted with a ‘U/A’ certificate.

The censors insisted on the MoD seeing the espionage thriller not because Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee play army officers in it but because the film, which tackles corruption, also rakes up the Adarsh Housing scam.

Neeraj Pandey took to Twitter to thank the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Ministry of Defense for clearing his upcoming film, Aiyaary, for a 16 February release.

The Adarsh Housing Society is a posh, 31-storey building constructed on a prime real estate in Colaba, Mumbai, for the welfare of war widows and personnel of India’s Ministry of Defence.

The scam was unearthed in November 2010 which forced the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan to resign.

In January 2011, the Maharashtra government set up a two-member judicial commission to inquire into the matter. The commission was headed by retired High Court judge Justice JA Patil, with NN Kumbhar acting as member secretary. After deposing 182 witnesses over 2 years, the commission submitted its final report in April 2013 to the Maharashtra government.

In Aiyaary, there are references to Sidharth and Pooja Chopra’s characters to a plot in Mumbai’s Colaba. Even Naseeruddin Shah who plays a watchman, alludes to this particular plot, saying that the building being constructed was meant for the widows of martyred soldiers. “Kha jayenge, neta aur neta ke chamche,” his character sighs, alluding to the Adarsh scam.

The film portrays Sidharth as an army officer sharing a mentor-protege bond with Manoj. Aiyaary also stars Rakul Preet Singh, Pooja Chopra in pivotal roles.


Aiyaary will release on time, says Sidharth Malhotra

Mumbai: A week before its scheduled release, the makers of Aiyaary are yet to get a censor certificate but actor Sidharth Malhotra is hopeful that the film will hit the screens on time.

The actor was asked about the delay in getting the censor clearance during an event.

“As far as I know, my producers are handling it and it is in the process. They have assured me the film is releasing on time. It is a production aspect and I have complete faith in my team,” Sidharth said.

He was talking on the sidelines of the launch of a special Oppo Mobile edition in his name, the “OPPO F5 Siddarth Edition”.

When contacted about the same, producer Jayantilal Gada, said, “There is no problem as such. The revising committee will see the film today. There is a screening being held today in Delhi. We are hopeful that the film will be cleared and release on 9 February.”

Aiyaary, also starring Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah in pivotal roles is slated for a 9 February release.