The sudden decision of Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh , Pondicherry and Chhattisgarh government to make the Bollywood actress, Deepika Padukone’s latest movie, ‘Chhapaak’ tax-free is seen as a dangerous trend in the democratic system .
The Meghna Gulzar directed movie has also drawn the ire of the Right Wing organisations after Deepika’s visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi on Tuesday night, where she stood in solidarity with the victims of Sunday’s attack by masked goons. She earned bouquets as well as brickbats from various people, including politicians, for her act of showing support to the JNU students.
However political analysts feel , such Tax rebate to a film by a state government is bad as the Congress-ruled governments decided to gift the film and its makers a sigh of relief just after the visit of Padukone at JNU campus particularly when film is based on very important Social cause .
Chhapaak hits the screens on January 10 and marks Deepika Padukone’s maiden production venture. The film features Deepika as an acid attack victim. Deepika plays Malti Agarwal, a character based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Chhapaak also stars Vikrant Massey and Madhurjeet Sanghi in pivotal roles.Already the film is drawing negative publicity for changing the religion of the acid attacker.
The chief ministers of the two Congress-ruled states, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh made the announcement on Twitter. The Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath tweeted, “Deepika Padukone’s film on acid attack survivor, Chhapaak is releasing across the country on January 10. I declare it tax-free in Madhya Pradesh”. This film which spreads a positive message regarding the treatment of acid-attack survivors in the society, tells the story of their courage, struggle and their passion for life and aims to bring a change in the society’s mentality on the same, he justified.
The neighbouring Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also appealed to people to watch the movie along with their families. “The state government has decided to make Hindi film ”Chhapaak” tax-free in Chhattisgarh. The film spreads awareness among people against heinous crime like acid attack on women in society. You all should go to watch the movie along with your families and become aware, as well as spread the awareness,” Baghel said.
This trend would also surely divide the film industry for stepping into current political controversies . The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is cleverly using film stars for her selfish political goals. She even upgraded many actors and actresses as either Rajya Sabha members or Lok Sabha members.
There are also calls for boycott of the movie, Chhapaak by Right Wing supporters on social media. Several BJP leaders asked their followers to boycott Deepika’s film Chhapaak because of her visit to JNU.
Public view is that such state support by making tax free to a movie is nothing but quid pro quo for actor and actress helping a political party for its cause is not at all good for the health of a democratic society and future of Bollywood . If the trend continues, political parties by arm twisting would also use them for election campaigns and other propaganda during elections and other events.
Senior Producer on anonymity expressed that Most surprising was the senior Congress leaders preferring to keep mum for the political use,of the situation. Nobody is opposing the film. The movie should run smoothly if it has merit. But why a government gives such gifts to the movie when its actor or actress takes side on an issue?
If such thing continues this way, the other Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Punjab and Maharashtra would also come to bail out Meghna Gulzar directed movie. And if Mamata Banerjee also does it in Bengal, nobody should be surprised !