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Updated: April 10, 2010 14:50 IST

“Release film on Ambedkar”

Staff Reporter
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A protest being staged in Madurai on Friday. Photo: S. James.
The Hindu A protest being staged in Madurai on Friday. Photo: S. James.

Advocates, students of Madurai Law College and social activists took to the streets staging a protest demanding the immediate release of ‘Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar,' a film on the life and times of Dr. Ambedkar.

Gathering near Rajah Muthiah Mandram here on Friday, the protestors raised slogans against the Central and State governments for not releasing the movie which is a biographical narrative on screen of India's unparalleled leader. It is 12 years since the film was made and has not reached the masses for whose cause the social revolutionary dedicated his life.

The protestors demanded that the State should take efforts to release the film before the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar which falls on April 14. At a time when tax concessions were given for films that bear Tamil names, why cannot tax concessions be given to a film on the architect of Indian Constitution, they demanded.

Stating that there were ulterior motives behind the efforts not to screen the movie, the protestors said that this too was a form of “untouchability.” They also blamed the political parties who maintained silence on the issue and said they offered only lip service and did not work structurally to uplift the Dalits. The protestors who went on a procession to the Telegraph Office were prevented half way near Periyar Statue and arrested.

The film directed by Jabbar Patel has Malayalam superstar Mammotty in the lead role. It has already won accolades in the form of national awards for Best English Film, the Best Director, the Best Actor (Mammootty) and Best Art Director (Nitin Desai).

It was during the birth centenary year of Babasaheb Ambedkar the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under the V. P. Singh Government and the Maharashtra Government jointly produced the film which talks about the life and contributions of Ambedkar.

The film project, which started in the early 1990s, took almost nine years to complete.

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