Mumbai: Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar on Tuesday shrugged off criticism that his new film Indu Sarkar, set against the Emergency years, was “sponsored”, saying if that were the case, he would have released it during the time of an election.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday had said the depiction of Indira Gandhi and her son, Sanjay — as seen in the trailer of the film — was “false”. “This film is sponsored. We all know which person and organisations are behind this. We condemn the false depiction,” Scindia said.
Reacting to the comment, the three-time national award winning filmmaker told he had “tremendous respect” for Scindia. “I admire him personally. But I don’t know how he made such a comment without knowing the facts. I am known to make movies which are topical, issue-based and women-centric,” he said.
Bhandarkar, along with other film industry people such as Anupam Kher and Ashoke Pandit, had supported the Narendra Modi government when it was being attacked by artistes and others for acts of “intolerance” in parts of the country.
The director denied his film was “sponsored”. “If it’s a sponsored thing, I would have waited for the 2019 elections or I would have released the film during the recent state elections.
People should stop questioning and (instead) support the film, especially those who believe in the freedom of expression and women empowerment,” he said.
The film, to be released in July, is based on the state of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in June, 1975. The Emergency was lifted after 21 months.
It features actress Kirti Kulhari in the titular role of a poetess, who rises against a ruling government. Neil Nitin Mukesh plays a character believed to be based on Sanjay Gandhi.