Nobody can ban Thackeray, says Sanjay Raut

Nobody can ban Thackeray, says Sanjay Raut

The biopic features Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Bal Thackeray. Still from the trailer

Amid reports that the censor board has objected to certain scenes in the biopic of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray, senior party leader and the film's producer Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said nobody can ban the film.

Raut, who has also written the film, was talking to reporters here after the launch of its trailer. The biopic features Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Bal Thackeray.

According to media reports, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has taken exception to certain scenes referring to the Babri Masjid and the south Indian community.

"What is right and what is not right, who will decide? This is a biopic, it is a true story. Balasaheb's life was an open book. The censor board will understand. Some things take time to be understood," Raut said.

"Fifty years ago, Balasaheb had spoken about Bhoomiputras (sons of the soil) and now the people who opposed it want Bhoomiputra policy in Madhya Pradesh," added Raut in an apparent reference to the Congress government encouraging recruitment of local people in Madhya Pradesh.

The Sena's Rajya Sabha member further said, "There is no question of ban, this is Thackeray. Nobody can ban Thackeray."

Known for his provocative statements, Thackeray, in the late 1960s had targeted south Indians, accusing them of snatching away jobs from local Marathi youths. He also dominated the headlines for his anti-Muslim tirades.

The Censor board as yet has not come out with any statement about whether it has suggested any cuts. Its spokesperson could not be contacted for comments.

Asked about the censor board's reported objections, Thackeray's son and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, "Whatever has happened has happened. We can not change it. If we can not have a quick action about the film (referring to censor clearance) then we better have quick resolution of the Babri Masjid case."

"This picture will be two-hour long, but I have seen the full 52-year picture (the time he spent with his father). This must have been a difficult film to make," Uddhav said as he lauded Nawazuddin for portraying a "very difficult role".

Nawazuddin said he was grateful to the film's makers for casting him.

"This was the most challenging role for me. I did get nervous thinking whether I will be able to do this role or not but the director gave me lot of confidence and put me at ease," the actor said.

Directed by Abhijit Panse, the film will release on January 25, Thackeray's birth anniversary. 

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