Gujarat ban on Aamir's Fanaa unlawful: NBA

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Gargi Parsai

"Whether in the name of religion or development, intolerance is unacceptable"

Expresses hope that common people will support Aamir Khan Re-affirms commitment to just and equitable development

NEW DELHI: The Narmada Bachao Andolan led by Medha Patkar on Monday condemned the ban enforced on Aamir Khan-starrer Fanaa in Gujarat and said it was an "unlawful action" as the Censor Board had already cleared the film.

"No political forum can go against it, and if it does, legal action may be initiated. Such a move is against the freedom of speech and expression and against the Constitution and democratic values. These kind of intimidatory tactics are used by Gujarat politicians out of timidity and intolerance because they realise the civil society's strength and support to the Narmada Bachao Andolan, especially of eminent persons."

The NBA appreciated Aamir Khan's committed position of "no displacement without rehabilitation" as non-negotiable and his readiness to bear the brunt.

It also expressed the hope that not only Bollywood artists but also common people would support Aamir Khan and the displaced people in the Narmada valley.

Assailing the intolerance and violence reflected in the "fanatical and fundamentalist" propaganda against the stand taken by Aamir Khan on the Narmada struggle and the Vadodara riots, the NBA said, "Whether in the name of religion or development, intolerance is unacceptable."

"Aamir Khan is one of concerned and sensitive creative artists who has shown a social commitment beyond commercial interests. We are proud of him just as we are of Arundhati Roy, Vijay Tendulkar, Shabana Azmi, Sadashiv Amraupurkar, Shriram Lagoo, Rahul Bose and others who carry the pro-people sensitivity across the country and have supported the struggle of the displaced families."

Reiterating its commitment to "just and equitable development," the NBA said it had experienced intolerance in Gujarat on several occasions be it through the attack on a water conference in Ahmedabad, the attack on eminent danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, the attack on Medha Patkar during a post-Godhra riot meeting in Sabarmati Ashram and three destructive attacks on the NBA office in Vadodara.

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