Trouble begins for Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children

Political parties protest after the Indian premier of Midnight’s Children saying that the movie hurts their sentiments

Bollywood it seems just can’t get rid of some political party or the other meddling in its affairs. And director Deepa Mehta, who premiered her film Midnight’s Children yesterday in Kerala, is again at the mercy of a local leader who alleges that the film has insulted the sensibilities of his party.

As soon as the premier of the film got over, R Balakrishna Pillai, a former Congress minister in the state, attacked the film for showing the party in poor light. The minister was referring to the part in the movie that delves into the Emergency of 1975, called by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

The movie, based on the book of the same name, written by controversial author Salman Rushdie, shows how its protagonist shares his destiny with that of the country. It focuses on the Emergency period and the riots that took place during that time, which can easily be counted as one of the darkest days in Indian history.

Director Mehta remained unfazed, despite a few frivolous threats and amidst rumours that the movie has been banned. “Listen, I made the film. Hear it from my mouth, it has not been banned,” said Deepa, answering press queries about why the second screening of the movie was not being held. She said that the distributors didn’t feel it was necessary to screen the film again, and so did she.

The movie has been shot in Sri Lanka, and stars Ronit Roy, Shahana Goswami, Shabana Azmi, Siddharth and Soha Ali Khan, and is narrated by the author Salman Rushdie himself. Well, we’re happy that the bickering has not ruffled Deepa’s feathers as she has faced similar issues in the past too when it came to her movies Water and Fire, which faced the ire of fundamentalist organisations and political goons. Well, we hope the filmmaker will handle the situation deftly this time too, and that Midnight’s Children doesn’t face any more unnecessary flak.