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Releasing Modi Biopic Before Voting Ends Will Tilt Balance, EC Tells SC

The Supreme Court on Monday received in a sealed envelope the Election Commission's report on PM Narendra Modi, a biopic, after the movie's producers cried foul that the poll panel barred the film's release without even watching it.

News18.com

Updated:April 24, 2019, 10:51 AM IST
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Releasing Modi Biopic Before Voting Ends Will Tilt Balance, EC Tells SC
People walk past the Election Commission of India office building in New Delhi (REUTERS)

The Election Commission on Tuesday reiterated its decision to uphold the ban on the release of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biopic, stating that the dramatized nature of its content will “tilt the electoral balance of the particular political party” before the last phase of voting on May 19.

The Supreme Court on Monday received in a sealed envelope the Election Commission's report on PM Narendra Modi, a biopic, after the movie's producers cried foul that the poll panel barred the film's release without even watching it. The film also received the nod of the Central Board for Film Certification.

"The committee is of the considered view that the public screening of the movie 'PM Narendra Modi' during the period of model code of conduct will tilt the electoral balance of the particular political party, therefore, the public screening of the movie 'PM Narendra Modi' should not be allowed till last date of poll on May 19 in the ongoing elections," the report said.

The poll panel submitted its decision through senior advocate Rakesh Divedi to a bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

The committee, in its 20-page report also highlighted how, “The synopsis of the movie provided with the script ends on an interesting sentence - 'India is Modi and Modi is India'. This is reminiscent of the infamous statement by Congress leader D K Baruah, who had said 'Indira is India and India is Indira' in the 1970s,"

Hailing the film as a ‘hagiography’ more than a biography, the EC committee added that the film is replete with scenes that depict a major opposition party as corrupt and shows them in poor light and that "Eulogising of the character Narendra Modi is very clear right through the movie."

Moreover, the committee also held that Opposition leaders have been depicted in such manner that their identification is obvious to the viewers. Buttressing its argument against release of the film, the committee said the biopic “is unabashedly unidimensional, which puts an individual on a higher pedestal through use of specific symbols, slogans and scenes” and ends up “eulogising an individual, giving him a saintly status.”

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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