Filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi, whose upcoming directorial `Gandhi Godse -Ek Yudh` recently triggered a controversy, on Monday, stated that the criticisms were based on the trailer.
He requested the critics to watch the film with an `open mind`.
Set in post-independence India of 1947-48, `Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh` depicts the war of ideologies between Nathuram Godse and Mahatma Gandhi. The trailer showcased a powerful glimpse into the tumultuous period following India`s partition.
Following the trailer release of the period drama film on January 11, the Congress recently sought a ban on the film in Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking to ANI, the veteran filmmaker, who has many blockbusters such as `Ghayal` and `Damini` to his credit, said, “It is important because historically, Gandhiji and Godse are two leaders against whom various allegations have been levied. While there are many who respect Gandhiji, there are also those who bad-mouth him. Same is the case with Godse, with some even calling him a terrorist.”
“So, I felt that there should be a stage for both of them where they are put together to put forth their viewpoints and debate on them. It will enable viewers shape an objective opinion on Gandhiji and Godse. The film will make them question if they really know Gandhiji or Godse as they thought they would. As a filmmaker, we have tried to put aside our personal choices and honestly put forward the opinions of both these characters from our political history,” he continued.
On the criticism he has been receiving for the film, Santoshi said, “It has come to my notice that some people, claiming to be followers of Gandhiji, burnt my effigies and it might happen in future too. This surprises me because people who truly believe in him will never resort to violence. They will never come out on the streets with lathis and burn effigies. It only goes to show that they actually don`t believe in Gandhian principles. They haven`t even seen the film and are reacting to the trailer. It shows that their motive is something else.”
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He added, “I request people to watch the film with an open mind and not come to theatres with any preconceived notions. Those coming with an open mind will truly enjoy the film. There`s not been a single complaint against the film`s previews, not even from the censor board.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Mahatma Gandhi`s great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, waded into the controversy over the film, saying, “I`m not surprised because for them (the makers of the film), Godse is a hero, and if they portray him as a hero, it should not surprise any of us. But I cannot comment on the merits or the demerits of the film because I haven`t seen it and I don`t intend to see films which glorify murderers.”
`Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh` is set in an India of the filmmaker`s imagination where Mahatma Gandhi survives an assassination bid and meets his attacker, Nathuram Godse, in prison. What follows is a fiery debate and a clash of ideologies between them.
Produced by Manila Santoshi, with music composed by maestro AR Rahman, the movie is set to hit the theatres on Republic Day, January 26.
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