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I-B Minister Anurag Thakur instructs absolute accountability from CBFC over 'Oppenheimer' controversy
New Delhi: Christopher Nolan’s directorial 'Oppenheimer' starring Cillian Murphy has been constantly under the scanner ever since its release.
From critics to reviewers, several people from across the country have expressed disappointment over the intimate scene in the film featuring a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, considered a holy scripture by the Hindus, which has triggered online fury in India. The scene has angered the audience in India, many of whom vented their fury online, calling out Nolan for hurting religious sentiments.
According to sources, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur has taken a stern view of the controversial scene. The minister has demanded absolute accountability from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in response to the objectionable scene.
The Minister has directed the filmmakers to promptly remove the controversial scene from the film. Moreover, he has warned that stringent action will be taken against all CBFC members involved in approving the screening of the movie, as per sources.
Anurag Thakur expressed his displeasure over the CBFC's failure to safeguard the interests of the public, emphasizing that such negligence cannot be overlooked. He asserted that the board members would be held responsible for their actions, signalling a clear message of accountability.
This major development comes as the government takes measures to uphold public sentiments and ensure responsible content in the Indian film industry. The demand for accountability from the CBFC reflects the government's commitment to maintaining a robust and responsible film certification process.
Earlier, the Information Commissioner of the Union government, Uday Mahurkar, also voiced his misgivings over the scene and hit out at the filmmaker.
Speaking to ANI on Sunday, Mahurkar said, "It's (the scene) an insult to Bhagavad Gita, which is our holy book. It sends out powerful and meaningful messages to the entire world. How could someone demean it this way? The scene is an assault on our values and civilisation. It's an assault on the Hindu community."
Further, calling on Nolan to delete the offensive scene from the film, he added, "Nolan should remove this scene from the film. It reeks of religious hatred. If he doesn't take out the scene, we will act," he added.
On Saturday, Mahurkar, also the founder of Save Culture, Save India, took to Twitter to say the scene is a scathing attack on Hinduism.
“It has come to our notice that the movie 'Oppenheimer' contains a scene which makes a scathing attack on Hinduism. As per social media reports, a scene in the movie shows a woman making a man read Bhagwad Geeta aloud while indulging in sexual intercourse. She is seen holding a copy of the Bhagwad Geeta in one hand," he wrote.
He added, “We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene in (a film based on the) life of a scientist. But this is a direct assault on (the) religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus.”
“We urge, on behalf of billion Hindus and the timeless tradition of lives being transformed by revered Geeta, (the makers) to do all that is needed to uphold the dignity of our revered book and remove this scene from the film across the world. Should you choose to ignore this appeal, it would be deemed as a deliberate assault on Indian civilisation. Eagerly await needful action," he said.
He added that he wants the matter investigated by top officials and ministers, including Union Information and Broadcast Minister Anurag Thakur.
Mahurkar said,"This should be investigated by the I&B Ministry on an urgent basis and those involved should be severely punished. As observed by Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur-ji recently and even by our courts in the last couple of years, what we get in the name of entertainment is often insensitive to our culture and the sentiments of our people."
The biopic, set during World War II, follows Robert J Oppenheimer, known as the 'Father of the Atomic Bomb'.
The film has a topline cast comprising Cillian Murphy in the title role, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, and Jack Quaid.
The movie was released in theatres on July 21. (ANI)