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Smita Thackeray Backs Political Censorship

Mumbai
Smita Thackeray Backs Political Censorship
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Speculations about her plans to join the Congress notwithstanding, when it comes to political censorship of films, Smita Thackeray is on the side of Bal Thackeray, her father-in-law and Shiv Sena chief.

"If any film is maligning the image of a mass leader, the supporters would agitate," Smita, estranged wife of Thackeray’s son Jaidev wrote in a letter to Marathi newspaper Loksatta today.

Though maintaining that as a producer she was against "unnecessary political censorship", she said, "like the artists, the common man also has a right to freedom of expression."

Smita was referring to the recent protest by MNS and Congress leader Narayan Rane's supporters against Marathi film Zenda. Supporters of MNS supremo Raj Thackeray and Rane had objected to negative portrayal of their leaders in the film, which could be released only after desired changes were made.

Stating that political censorship was nothing new in India, 48-year-old Smita said, "famous painter M F Hussain was exiled from the country for portraying Hindu goddesses and Salman Rushdie’s book Satanic Verses was banned."

On her personal experience about Ram Gopal Verma's movie Sarkar, based on the Thackeray family, she said many people asked her whether the character of Amruta Nagre in the film was inspired by her. "Did I not have the right to raise my voice against the character which maligned my image," she asked.

Smita Thackeray felt that using movies as a medium to badmouth others was disturbing. "It is very easy to play with people’s emotions by making a movie for a few lakh rupees to ruin the image of an opponent."

The Thackeray `bahu' was in news last year following reports that she wanted to join the Congress party. She is reportedly peeved at being "marginalised" in the Thackeray household and feels that the Sena was being "unfair" to Maharashtrians with its "parochial" politics.

She even met state Congress president Manikrao Thakre to seek advice.
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