ABMM threatens to stall Marathi film over its title
Posted January 15, 2010on:
Ambarish Mishra | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 14, 2010)
Mumbai: The Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Mahasangh (ABMM)’s threat to stop the screening of Shikshanachya Aaycha Gho, a Marathi film by noted actor director Mahesh Manjrekar, has yet again brought to the fore the vexatious issue of parallel censorship by political organisations.
The ABMM, which claims to represent the Maratha community, is upset with the film’s “derogatory’’ title. Manjrekar is unwilling to yield to the ABMM’s demand, while the ABMM chief Shahsikant Pawar has warned that his followers will tear down the screens of movie halls which exhibit …Gho. The ABMM has submitted a memorandum to the regional censor board demanding that the word Aay (mother) be dropped from the title.
The …Gho controversy could prove to be an embarrassment for the DF government, say political observers. While chief minister Ashok Chavan has extended full security to Manjrekar for the film’s release on January 15, education minister Balasaheb Thorat has voiced his objection to the film’s title, thus strengthening the ABMM’s case.
While the Shiv Sena has backed …Gho, Manjrekar is said to be banking on the Raj Thackeray-led MNS as well. Manjrekar called on Raj early this week. “The ABMM doesn’t have much presence in Mumbai and Thane. MNS activists will swing into action if the ABMM workers try to obstruct the screening,’’ said an MNS functionary on Wednesday.
Sena CEO Uddhav Thackeray has complimented the film for taking a hard look at the educational system and said, “Those in power have corrupted the academic world. Even if armed with a degree, children can’t find a job or face life’s vicissitudes.’’
Experts claim Manjrekar may have kept trouble at bay had he used Aavsheecho Gho, an affectionate form of address in the coastal Konkan belt which is known for its robust lingo. Said a Marathi theatreperson, “Aavsheecho Gho is a mischievous way of referring to father — mother’s husband. Aaycha Gho is the Sena lingo and reeks of vulgarity.’’
However, western Maharashtra, to which most of the Maratha politicians belong, finds both forms of address highly unpalatable.
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde has ridiculed the ‘…Gho’ squabble. “Maharashtra is wracked by economic and social problems. The state is nearly bankrupt. There is no water, no electricity. It is pointless to expend energy and time on non-issues,’’ he said.