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Neither mob nor state can curtail freedom of expression: 'Eeda' director

Film critic P Neelan and 'Eeda' director B Ajithkumar talk about rising censorship and state that even left wing outfits have protested against films critical of them.

Published: 18th February 2018 01:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2018 07:09 AM   |  A+A-

Eeda.

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Intolerance to movies or art is not restricted to fundamentalists triggering violence in the name of religion or a particular section of society. Rather, filmmakers and critics say, every section of society has been critical of any creative form questioning their internal systems or practices. Even left-wing political parties, major advocates of freedom of expression, have come out against various creative works critical of the party.

Award-winning film critic P Neelan said intolerance goes beyond right-wing groups. “Every section, whether political parties or religious groups, has expressed resentment against films or other creative work if the art form was against their ideology or practices,” he said, even while accepting that censorship was unacceptable.

“People should see a film or any creative work as art. Nobody has the right to determine which movie a person should watch. The choice should always be left to the viewers,” he said.

Director B Ajithkumar, whose film Eeda was reportedly taken off from theatres in annur and posters torn as a political outfit found the theme disturbing, said neither a mob nor the state has the right to curtail the freedom of expression. 

“I don’t want to talk about the controversy associated with my movie. It hasn’t bothered me much. But the fact is opposition against a movie is triggered only by a minute section of society. The mob may either represent a section or a religious group or a political outfit. Now, issues are being projected in a way showing all people of a state or a religious group to be opposing the movie. People, largely, are not at all interested in these protests,” he said.

Nowadays, Ajith said, even directors enjoy these controversies. “They see it as a means of extra mileage for their movies. They take it very positively. But the real discourse is not happening. Censorship, either by the state or a mob, cannot be accepted. Freedom of expression needs to be upheld. I have no time for controversies or discussions on this,” he said.



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