Amitabh Bachchan's 'civil liberties' comment at KIFF 2022 divides Twitter
Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, and other guests inaugurated the 28th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival on Friday. Senior Bachchan spoke about how civil liberties and freedom of expression are being questioned in the country and quoted The Cinematograph Act of 1952. It took Twitter by storm and even though some supported his statements, some twisted them with political agenda.
Why does this story matter?
- Bachchan is a megastar who has been relevant for more than five decades. His stardom is so huge that the name Bachchan has become synonymous with greatness.
- In the recent past, he has not commented upon recent happenings, making his statement at KIFF 2022 more important.
- Needless to say, Big B's words have raged yet another storm on social media.
Bachchan on Satyajit Ray's probable reaction
Bachchan referred to the censorship in Indian cinema and said, "Even now, I'm sure my colleagues on stage would agree, questions are being raised on civil liberties and freedom of expression." He also spoke about moral policing which happens via censorship. The Piku actor said that Satyajit Ray would have reacted to the current scenario like the protagonist of his film, Ganashatru.
What was 'Ganashatru' all about?
Ganashatru is a 1989 chamber drama directed by Ray about a jaundice epidemic caused by water contamination which the state and the local temple are suppressing. Dr. Asok Gupta (protagonist, played by Soumita Chatterjee) becomes the enemy of the people as he fights for justice.
Reactions on Twitter
Journalist Rohini Singh tweeted, "Imagine the extent of fascism and crushing of dissent that even Bachchan is forced to speak up on civil liberties and freedom of expression." Whereas, a certain section deemed it to be a critique of Mamata Banerjee's Bengal government. BJP leader Amit Malviya tweeted that the actor's words were like a mirror for Banerjee who was also on the stage.
Check out the tweet here
Amitabh Bachchan’s words couldn’t have been more prophetic since they were spoken in Kolkata, with Mamata Banerjee on the dais. It is like holding a mirror to the tyrant, under whose watch India witnessed the bloodiest post poll violence.— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) December 15, 2022
She has tarnished the image of Bengal… pic.twitter.com/X9XDGm7k4s
Meanwhile, Khan commented on social media amid anti-'Pathaan' protests
At the same event, the brand ambassador of West Bengal Shah Rukh Khan spoke about how social media is driven by shallow and narrowness of views. His comments come after Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra threatened to ban his upcoming film Pathaan for the visuals in the song Besharam Rang. Some other groups also took offense and protested in Indore.
Details about the film festival
The film festival will be running across 10 venues in Kolkata from December 15 to December 22. A total of 183 films from 42 countries will be screened. There will be an exhibition of Ray's work, and talk shows and workshops will also be held during the festival. The opening film was Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 1973 film Abhimaan starring Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan.