On June 28, the Allahabad High Court continued to slam the makers of the ‘Adipurush’ movie for depicting religious characters, including Bhagwan Ram and Bhagwan Hanuman, in an objectionable manner. The court remarked that if someone makes even a “short documentary” on the Quran, depicting wrong things, then they will “see what will happen.”
The court’s Division Bench, comprising Justices Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Shree Prakash Singh, said, “You should not touch Quran, Bible and other sacred texts. We may make it clear that it is not about any one religion. But you should not depict any religion in a bad light. The Court has no religion of its own. Our only concern is that the law and order situation should be maintained,” while questioning the psyche of the makers.
The court further observed that in recent times several movies have depicted Hindu deities in a ‘funny way.’ The court presumably referred to a scene from Aamir Khan’s PK, the protagonist harasses a person dressed as Bhagwan Shiva while the person is attempting to flee from him. Furthermore, the court observed that such instances of an objectionable depiction of Hindu deities had become a common occurrence. The court remarked that if someone makes even a short documentary on Quran, depicting wrong things, then one would see what would happen.
“If we will shut our mouths today then you know what will happen? These incidents are increasing day by day. I saw a movie wherein Lord Shankar was shown running with his Trishul in a very funny manner. Now, these things will be showcased?… The filmmakers earn money as films do business…This is going back to back. Something or the other is being done to break the harmony. The producer will have to come in this. Is this a joke?,” the court said.
“Suppose if you make even a short documentary on the Quran, depicting wrong things, then you will see what will happen…However, I may once again clarify that it is not about any one religion. It is by chance that this issue is concerned with Ramayana, otherwise, Court belongs to all religions,” the court added.
However, the court clarified that it has not passed any substantive order and the oral observations are concerned with the issue at hand. The court said, “But you will see that all these things would be published (in media) by the evening.”
The court questioned the Dy Solicitor General of India SB Pandey, asking him how he would defend the movie when it contains prima facie objectionable material. The court noted that the issue at hand is sensitive and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) committed a blunder by passing this film.
The Dy Solicitor General contended that the CBFC consists of sensible members, however, the court remarked that if such ‘sanskari’ people passed such a movie, then they are truly blessed.
“Aap keh rhe hain ki sanskar wale logon ne is movie ko certify kiya hai (referring to board members) jahan Ramayana ke baare mein aisa dikhaya gaya hai to wo log dhanya hai. (You are claiming that cultured people (referring to the board members) certified this movie, when Ramayana has been depicted in this light, then such people are blessed,” the court said.
Earlier, on June 28, the Allahabad High Court slammed the makers, questioning why the tolerance of Hindus was being put to the test.
“The one who is gentle should be suppressed? Is it so? It is good that it is about a religion, the believers of which did not create any public order problem. We should be thankful. We saw in the news that some people had gone to cinema halls (wherein the movie was being exhibited) and they only forced them to close the hall, they could have done something else as well,” the court said.
The court added that the CBFC should have done something while granting certification to the movie.
“Agar hum log ispar bhi aankh band kar len kyonki yeh kaha jaata hai ki yeh dharm ke log bade sahishnu hain to kya uska test liya jayega? (If we close our eyes on this as well because it is said that people of this religion are very tolerant, so will it be put to a test?),” the court remarked while hearing two PILs against the exhibition and dialogues of the movie.
The court further said that religious scriptures, towards which the people are sensitive, should not be touched or encroached upon. Furthermore, the court said that these PILs were not propaganda petitions, and that the bench is concerned with a genuine issue.
“The issue here (in the PIL pleas) is that the way the movie has been made, there are some scriptures which are exemplary and are worthy of worship. People recite Ramcharitmanas before leaving their homes,” the court said.
The court remarked that the movie depicted Bhagwan Ram, Laxman Ji, Hanuman Ji and Mata Sita were depicted in an objectionable manner as if they were nothing. The court further rapped the respondent’s contentions that a disclaimer was added to the movie.
“Do the people who put the disclaimer consider the countrymen, and youth to be brainless? You show Lord Rama, Lord Laxman, Lord Hanuman, Ravana, Lanka and then say it is not Ramayana?,” the court said.
The court was hearing a PIL filed in December 2022, contending that the movie casts aspersions on the characters of Ramayana, tarnishing the image of Ayodhya and the Hindu religion in general. The PIL argued that the movie’s trailer was clumsy and indecent, hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.