January 16, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
New Delhi: High voltage drama unfolded today as Leela Samson, India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), also called the Censor Board, resigned from her post yesterday in protest to Indian government’s move to ‘secure’ clearance for controversial movie “Messenger of God”.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry today said that “it was personal choice of Leela Samson, and the government has no comment on it”.
The movie was initially denied certification by the CBFC but the decision was reportedly reversed under pressure from the BJP led government in the Centre.
Following the resignation of Leela Samson, the release of controversial movie ‘Messenger of God’ was stalled.
Speaking to media persosn Leela Samson said, “It is a mockery of Central Board of Film Certification. My resignation is final. Have informed the (I&B) Secretary”. She further added the reason behind quitting and said, “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organization who are appointed by the ministry”.
Messenger of God is a film by controversial dera sauda sirsa head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is facing rape and murder charges in CBI courts. The film has been opposed by groups in Punjab as dera head had attempted to personify himself as Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ji in 2007. Since, then Sikh groups are opposing his activities, as personification of Sikh Gurus is strictly prohibited.
Reacting to Leela Samson’s resignation Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, junior minister in information and broadcasting ministry, said: There was no coercion or interference from the government to give a “clearance” to controversial film “Messenger of God” featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
“This is her personal choice, the government has no comment on it,” Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore commented on resignation of Censor Board chief Leela Samson.
Rathore also said that if “Leela Samson is saying that there was coercion or interference from the government side, then she should give proof of it”.
It is notable that Dera Sauda Sirsa chief had extended support to Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) during state assembly elections held few months back. Media reports have already quotes intelligence sources saying that there were apprehensions of violence if the controversial movie is allowed to be screened in public.
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Related Topics: BJP, CBFC, Messenger of God (MSG) Movie