In what could be seen as a severe blow to filmmaker Sanal Sasidharan’s judicial battle to make the I & B ministry and the IFFI accountable for ousting his film S Durga , the Kerala High Court on Friday postponed Sanal’s hearing to Monday.
“This , for all practical purposes, means the end of my struggle to get judicial help for the way my film was treated by the IFFI. Because the International Film Festival Of India starts on Monday(in Goa). If my hearing in the honourable Kerala High Court comes up on Monday what purpose will it serve to get justice for my film? It will be too late for any kind of damage control,” wonders Sanal.
Shocked and defeated Sanal says, “First the honourable Kerala High Court postponed my hearing from Tuesday to Friday and now it’s gone to Monday. Obviously there is a pattern here which anyone can see if you look.”
Sanal wonders what an artiste like him can do in the given circumstances. “When the Government or any powerful body muscles into our creative territory and muzzles our voices we have only the judiciary to turn to. If the judiciary turns a blind eye to our plea, where do we go? And this is not just about filmmakers and other artistes. Voices of people from every walk of life is being muzzled. We are heading towards a fascist state of governance where all independent voices, voices that make the powers-that-be uncomfortable, are smothered and silenced.”
Sanal wonders where the Opposition has disappeared to. “Not one single political party or individual from any political party has come forward to support me or Ravi Jadhav. It is obvious that they see no political benefit in supporting us.For all practical purposes the Opposition has disappeared from our country. We exist in a one-party democracy.”
The harried filmmaker sees a pattern in what happened to his film and is now happening toPadmavati. “It is being ensured that my grievances are postponed until the IFFI starts On Monday. Likewise I’ve a feeling it will be ensured that Sanjay Bhansali’s Padmavati won’t be released until the Gujarat elections.”
Sanal condemns the hooliganism that has taken over creative forces in this country. “I am shocked to hear elements wanting to cut Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s head and DeepikaPadukone’s nose. This is sheer anarchy, a complete breakdown of law and order. Anti-socials are being given a free hand. A filmmaker like me is wasting time fighting the system rather than completing my film….Or maybe that’s the whole game-plan.”