Film on Gandhi's murder clears FCAT hurdle

Film on Gandhi's murder clears FCAT hurdle

Gandhi Hatya, Ek Saazish, a historical thriller drama on Mahatma Gandhi's assassination and the tumultuous times in India during the Partition post-Independence, has got clearance from the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

The tribunal has cleared the Rajit Kapur-starrer film for public screening with "A" certificate, directing the producers to also obtain a no objection certificate from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and submit the same to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) before going for the release of the film.

Veteran Bollywood actor late Om Puri will be seen in an interesting role in the film, which is expected to hit the cinema halls on August 15 (Independence Day).

The film, directed by Algerian filmmaker Karim Traidia, is primarily based on Justice J L Kapoor Commission of Inquiry (1969) into the conspiracy of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

It also portrays the tumultuous times that India witnessed during Partition and creation of Pakistan post-Independence.

The CBFC had earlier cleared Gandhi Hatya, Ek Saazish (Gandhi's murder, A conspiracy) with a "UA"certificate in February, ordering for as many as eight excisions and modification in it.

It had also directed for deletion of an item song on the grounds that it had dual meaning words and certain objectionable scenes even as the producers were ready for grant of "A" certificate to retain the item song along with other cuts and modifications sought by the CBFC.

Aggrieved by the CBFC's order, the producers approached the appellate tribunal.

It also tendered for the persual of the tribunal the full report of the commission of inquiry by Justice J L Kapoor into the conspiracy of murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

Hearing the appeal, the FCAT set aside four of the eight cuts and modifications ordered by the CBFC in its order.

Setting aside the CBFC's order for deletion of the item song, the court noted that it (song) had a bearing to the story and theme of the film.

In its order, the FCAT also batted for the freedom of expression of the filmmakers.

"The producer's freedom of expression and creativity may result at times in introduction of songs, scenes or dialogues which may found to be unnecessary and avoidable but then it is the producer and director of the film who have the choice to retain it. Their freedom has to be preserved. It is they who run the risk of producing something which is unpalatable to discerning audience," the tribunal noted.