New Delhi: The movie Lal Sarkar, which depicts the 25 years of misrule of the Left Front in Tripura, is yet to secure a censor certification. It was scheduled for a release in February this year ahead of the Assembly polls. Now, it may only be certified for release weeks after the Communists have finally been unseated from power by the BJP.
Sources stated that the movie could not meet its scheduled release date in February as some Censor Board officials objected to the depiction of the Manik Sarkar government in the state; use of Tripura’s name in the movie; and the depiction of the CPM flag. They added that the movie, which is understood to have a tacit and unofficial backing of the BJP, is now preparing to make its case before the Censor Board again.
Speaking to this newspaper, producer Sushil Sharman, however, claimed that the objections by the Censor Board have been addressed and the CPM flag has also been changed in the film.
“There are many films where a state’s name has been used, like in Udta Punjab. But no Censor Board objected to it. Similarly, there are many films where proper CPM flag along with its symbol has been used. We have merely shown a red flag. I don’t understand why it was objected to,” said Sharman.
The plot of the film revolves around a documentary filmmaker, who discovers the alleged wrongdoings of the Left Front-ruled government in Tripura. It also mentions the national scheme MNREGA.
Though BJP has denied any links to the film, the CPI(M), however, insisted that BJP was behind the film and had questioned about the timing of its proposed release in February. Interestingly, the movie also has a song sung by Babul Supriyo, an MoS in the Narendra Modi government.
Lal Sarkar will have subtitles in Bengali and Kokborok (the tribal language of Tripura). The film is directed by Abhijit Ashok Paul and is the first feature film produced by Sharman. The film also tries to portray the employment scenario, level of corruption, and the incidence of crime against women in Tripura.
The CPM had objected to the film, which the party believes was a part of BJP’s electoral campaign in the state ahead of the Assembly polls. It also questioned the timing of the film’s release.
The producer has repeatedly denied that his project is in any way linked to BJP. He claimed that the idea for the film struck him when he visited the state a few years ago to shoot documentaries on tribal people. He said he wanted to highlight “the plight of the people” of Tripura.