By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, May 13 (IANS) Director Ram Gopal Varma and producers of his film "Rann", which stars Amitabh Bachchan as a media baron, will to go to the Supreme Court to appeal against censor board's ruling to remove the song "Jana Gann Mana Rann hai" from the movie as well as the promos.
The censor board has objected to "Jana Gann Mana Rann hai" because it feels that the song violates the law governing the national anthem.
Varma and producers Madhu Mantena and Sheetal Talwar were supposed to go to the High Court Wednesday to fight the censor board's ruling. But Tuesday afternoon there was a change of plan. The "Rann" team has now decided to go straight to the apex court to challenge for what they think to be their fundamental right to expression.
"There has been a change of plan. We were earlier to go to the High Court. We're now moving into the Supreme Court because our lawyers Naik & Naik feel we've a very strong case," Mantena told IANS.
"The censor board has prevented us from using the song in the film and for the promotions. They've cited the rule that applies to national emblems and symbols, not the national anthem. So we feel that rule cannot be applicable to our song. As far as we know, the rule regarding the national anthem is that no one can be stopped from singing it."
Mantena and his co-producer Talwar have registered a civil case in the Mumbai High Court against the censor board's ruling. The "Rann" team is determined to fight it out to the last.
"We've time on our side. We're releasing 'Rann' in October," said Mantena confidently.
With "Rann" Varma is attempting to expose media industry. Apart from Amitabh, Riteish Deshmukh, Paresh Rawal, Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra form the cast of the movie.
Many feels that Varma should have desisted from creating a controversial situation.
"When it's Mr. Bachchan, you've got to be very careful with what goes into his projects because there are political elements waiting to pick holes in what he does. It's an unnecessary burden on his over-burdened sense of commitment to his projects," said a filmmaker who's making a movie with the Big B.
Interestingly, Amitabh was supposed to sing a song in "Rann", but that's no longer happening.