Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court Thursday banned the screening of “Goliyon ki Rasleela Ram-Leela” in Uttar Pradesh. The court has, however, allowed the producer and director to run the film without using ‘Ram-Leela’ and ‘Raasleela’ in the title.
The Bench, comprising Justices Devi Prasad Singh and Ashok Pal Singh, passed the order on a petition filed by C/M Shri Maryada Purshottam Bhagwan Ramleela Committee of Bahraich. The committee organises Ramleela every year during Dussehra in Bahraich.
Chief Standing Council of UP government IP Singh said, “The court has banned the movie in UP and has directed the state government to ensure compliance of the ban.”
Notices have been issued to film distributor Eros International and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to file counter affidavit within four weeks and rejoinder within next two weeks.
According to petitioner’s counsel Rajieu Kumar Tripathi, the word “Ram-Leela” relates to Lord Ram and co-relates with thousand years of Indian civilization. He argued Ramleela is staged all over the country and in different parts of the world and it depicts the life and character of Lord Ram. Similarly, raasleela is an event that relates to the dance of Lord Krishna.
The petitioner’s counsel invited attention of the court that United Nations Educational Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recognised Ramleela as a cultural heritage of India which relates to re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram.
The petitioner’s counsel further referred a particular clause of the Guidelines for Certification of Films for Public Exhibition, which says visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national attitudes are not to be presented. The Lucknow bench observed it was only concerned with use of word “Ram-Leela” in the title of the film, which has hurt the sentiments of billions of people not only in India but all over the world.