After ‘The Kerala Story’, Bengal Government Tries To Thwart Screening Of A Film On State

After ‘The Kerala Story’, Bengal Government Tries To Thwart Screening Of A Film On State

by Swarajya Staff - Friday, May 26, 2023 07:21 PM IST
After ‘The Kerala Story’, Bengal Government Tries To Thwart Screening Of A Film On StateOfficial poster of 'The Diary of West Bengal'

The Mamata Banerjee government is trying to thwart the release of another film, this time on Bengal, after a failed attempt to ban the screening of The Kerala Story

A film entitled The Diary Of West Bengal, whose trailer was released last month (watch the official trailer here), has apparently drawn the wrath of the Bengal chief minister. 

The film depicts violence against and persecution of Hindus by Muslims in Bengal because of Mamata Banerjee’s minority appeasement policies. 

The film, written and directed by Sanoj Mishra, is presented by Wasim Rizvi Films and produced by Jitendra Narayan Singh. 

Acting on a complaint filed against Sinha for “defaming West Bengal”, the Kolkata Police registered an FIR against the director at the Amherst Street police station in the city. 

A legal notice has been sent to the director asking him to appear before Inspector Subhabrata Kar, the additional officer-in-charge of the Amherst Street police station, at 12 noon on May 30. 

The legal notice sent by Kolkata Police said: “Ref: Amherst Street Police Station, Kolkata Case no. 90, Dated-11.05.2023 U/s 120B/153A/501/504/505/295A Indian Penal Code read with section 66D/84B Information Technology Act 2000 and section 7, Cinematograph Act’ 1952. In exercise of the power conferred under sub-section (1) of section 41A of CrPC I hereby inform you that during the investigation of the above referred case, it is revealed that there are reasonable grounds to question you to ascertain the facts and circumstances of this case”. 

“Hence, you are directed to appear before Inspector Subhabrata Kar, Additional Officer-in-Charge of Amherst Street Police Station on 30.05.2023 at 12-00 hrs. at Amherst Street Police Station, 57, Raja Ram Mohan Sarani, Kolkata-9 for the purpose of investigation of the above referred case. Inspector-in-Charge, Oshiwara Police Station, Mumbai to serve the notice and to inform about service through return signal,” the legal notice read. 

The trailer of the film shows violence, including murder and rape, of Hindus in Bengal by Muslims emboldened by the appeasement policies of the chief minister of the state. The trailer shows a lady, clad in a blue-bordered white saree that Mamata Banerjee often wears, speaking against CAA and NRC and vowing to thwart their implementation in Bengal in exactly the same manner that Banerjee had done. 

Characters in the film, 60 per cent of whose shooting is over and it is likely to be released next month, are shown ruing the fact that living conditions for Hindus in Bengal have become worse than Kashmir. 

A character in the film says that CBI officers are intimidated and arrested in Bengal while radical Rohingyas and Islamist Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators are encouraged to settle in Bengal before fanning out to other parts of the country. 

“Mamata’s love for Rohingyas is forcing Hindus to flee their homes,” another character in the film says while a voiceover says that thousands of Bengali Hindus staying along the Indo-Bangladesh border have been displaced by lakhs of illegal  Bangladeshi Muslim and Rohingya immigrants. 

The film says that restrictions are being imposed on celebrations of Hindu religious festivals and depicts a scene where a Mamata Banerjee lookalike is shown ordering that immersion of Maa Durga murtis will be deferred due to Muharram processions. 

In an interview to ANI Friday (May 26) afternoon, director Sanoj Mishra said that he has shown “true incidents” in the film and claimed he has “hard evidence” of all that has been shown in The Diary Of West Bengal (watch the interview here or here). 

The BJP has come down heavily on the Mamata Banerjee government for trying to throttle the film. 

Amit Malviya, who heads the BJP’s national IT department, tweeted: “After a failed attempt to ban The Kerala Story (the film is still not in theatres because owners are being threatened with punitive action, if they do), Mamata Banerjee’s administration is now intimidating the director and producer of The Diary of West Bengal, a movie based on true events, on the prevailing condition in the State. The notice to filmmakers is uncalled for because nothing in the trailer appears factually incorrect. It is a lived experience of many in Bengal. Mamata Banerjee should stop muzzling freedom of speech and expression. She runs a vile decrepit Govt and it is a matter of time that people of Bengal will reduce her regime to dust”. 

Sanoj Mishra has said he would be taking legal recourse to stop the Bengal government from thwarting the release of his film and trying to intimidate him.

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