New Delhi: Filmmaker Prakash Jha is upset that the permission to stage a grand show in Lucknow to promote his forthcoming film "Aarakshan" was withdrawn by the Mayawati government at the eleventh hour. He says if people have a problem with the film, they should discuss it with him head on.
"I am surprised that the permissions were cancelled at the last minute. I just don't understand what kind of problems people have with my film. Nobody has seen the film, and even if they have issues with the promos of the film, why can't they point it out to me?" Jha said in a statement.
The event, a debate on the subject of the film - caste-based reservations in the Indian society - was to be held in Lucknow on Wednesday. Film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Manoj Bajpai and Prateik Babbar were to attend the event, along with Jha. But they were denied permission by the state administration on grounds of "apprehension of breach of peace".
Preparation for the Lucknow meet has been in process for a over a month now.
To this, Jha said: "For the last month my team had been in process of organising this debate in Lucknow and had got the approved permission from all authorities. Thus, this last-minute withdrawal without any stated reason is quite baffling."
The film is set for release on August 12th, and the team has been touring different cities to promote it. From Patna, they skipped Lucknow, and flew directly to New Delhi on Wednesday.
Bachchan, who plays a key role in the film, took to his blog to share his sentiments on being kept away from visiting Lucknow.
"It is strange to prevent us from coming into the city fearing a law and order situation, for the Censor Board has already given us a certificate for exhibition...a bit strange do you not think??" posted the 68-year-old.<iframe width="100%" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pJBR0LLX0d0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>