New Delhi: Filmmaker Prakash Jha is happy that even after the "unexpected tough battle" to release his film "Aarakshan", the movie has managed to amass Rs.58.5 crore within its first week.
"I'm very happy with the audience response to 'Aarakshan'. I've been flooded with congratulatory messages and calls. The film seems to be touching many, many people," Jha said in a statement on Friday.
"Aarakshan", which deals with the sensitive issue of caste-based quota system in India's educational system, was banned in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh for the fear of anti-Dalit comments in it.
However, the ban was lifted from Punjab and Andhra Pradesh a day after its worldwide release, August 12th. In Uttar Pradesh, the ban was lifted August 19th.
"It has been an unexpectedly tough battle to release the film... I hope no other filmmaker ever has to go through what I'm going through. I'm very grateful for the support of the audiences worldwide who have been watching and enjoying the film. Many common people have been conveying their support, and that is very heartening," said Jha.
"The Supreme Court decision should restore our faith in the system. I'm happy the hearing is in our favour. The people of Uttar Pradesh will finally be able to watch 'Aarakshan'," added Jha.
The Uttar Pradesh government had imposed a two-month ban on the screening of the movie dealing with the issue of quota system in India's educational system. Questions were raised on the content of the film over fears of anti-Dalit comments.
"I'm glad I decided to challenge the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to ban the film rather than bow down to it. This has been an important battle in making right to the freedom of expression a real right for the common citizens of India," added Jha.
The movie features megastar Amitabh Bachchan with Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpayee and Prateik.