File photo of Prakash Jha (r) with Deepika Padukone at a press announcement of movie “Aarakshan.” (Wikimedia Commons | filmitadka.in)
Filmmaker Prakash Jha said, Feb. 22, the ongoing debate about being national and anti-national in India is “great comedy.” (@siliconeer, #siliconeer, #bollywood, #prakashjha, #JNU, #JNURow)
Prakash Jha, the 63-year-old filmmaker, says even before the “intolerance” debate in the country could settle down, the new issue has come up about (being) national and anti-national.
When asked about the ongoing row in JNU, Jha said, “I think it’s a great comedy which is going on. I look at it as a huge comedy. In our country there was the whole debate about tolerance, intolerance… Before that comedy act got over now this comedy of (being) national and anti-national (has come up).”
JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested under sedition charges in connection with an event held on the New Delhi-based JNU campus where anti-national slogans were raised allegedly.
The filmmaker, who has helmed socio-political films like “Gangaajal,” “Apaharan,” and “Satyagraha,” says the society is constantly churning new ideas and feels things have to be questioned as India is still a young democracy.
“It’s a society which is constantly churning its ideas and ideologies which are coming up. We are still young as far as democracy is concerned. It is nice that people talk about it and come up with these ideas and the way they are being used,” he told reporters.
“I feel it’s fantastic. For many it is sad that certain things are happening but then you realize it is a part of our life. We are dealing with it every single day. Things have to be questioned, opposed and understood,” he added.
Jha was speaking at the song launch of his upcoming Priyanka Chopra-starrer “Jai Gangaajal.”
The actress plays an IPS officer, Abha Mathur, in the sequel to Ajay Devgn-starrer “Gangaajal” (2003).
Jha said not everyone in the country can have the same opinion but at least there is freedom of expression.
“Some channels will speak a different language, some will speak other language. How can everybody be in unison, look at things from the same eye, it’s not possible. Thankfully, in our country we have freedom to say whatever we want to, even if it’s offensive. I am enjoying this drama,” he added.
Even though Jha has made films on relevant issues, the director said he has no plans to make a movie on the JNU issue as of yet.
“Not at all. We have a new idea for our next film and I am working on it. A film cannot be made on this as it is a very small idea… I don’t have any plans to make a film on the JNU issue. But yes I am observing everything.”
“Jai Gangaajal,” directed and co-produced by Jha, revolves around a female police officer, who takes on some powerful and influential men in her district.