The Manoj Bajpayee starrer Aligarh may have received rave reviews from critics and cine goers alike; but the film is unofficially 'banned' in theatres across Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. The reason: According to some fringe elements, the film, based on the real life story of Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras who was suspended by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 2010 for having consensual sex with a man, 'tarnishes' the reputation of the city.
According to media reports, the film, directed by Hansal Mehta was released on Friday following which a group—Millat Bedari Muhim Committee (MBMC)—forced the theatre owners in the city to cancel the screening.
MBMC Secretary Jasim Mohammad was quoted as saying that although the film hasn't been officially banned in the city, they ensured that the screening of the film has been halted in the city.
In a letter sent to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting the group claimed that, "“The title of the film i.e. ‘Aligarh’ is offending as it sends a message (that) gay practice is common at Aligarh. The title is not suitable and proper by any means. It will desist (sic) people (from) send(ing) their children to Aligarh for studies. Further, as it is also an industrial centre, the impression of city goes negative (sic) in foreign countries which lowers the country’s prestige.”
Media reports suggest that the Mayor of the city Shakuntala Bharti from the BJP too had opposed the screening.
Meanwhile, a few students of the university too are planning to file and FIR against Mehta for 'defaming' Aligarh.
Aligarh District Magistrate Balkar Singh confirmed that the film hasn't been officially banned in the city and the police confirmed that they did not receive any information regarding the banning of the film.