DHAKA: Bangladesh protested on Sunday to India about the “distortion” of historical facts regarding the 1971 Liberation War in the new Indian film ” Gunday” and requested authorities to stop its screening.
“The government of Bangladesh has also expressed its deep sense of hurt and disappointment about clearing of the film by the Central Board of Film Certification, Government of India,” a foreign office statement said.
Bangladesh’s foreign ministry requested Indian authorities to stop the screening of “Gunday” in its present form with immediate effect.
“The matter has already been taken up officially with the Indian authorities and strong protest has been conveyed to the Indian side,” the statement said.
The foreign ministry took the initiative after its attention was drawn to media reports and the reaction of people, particularly on social networking sites, to the contents of the film.
The ministry and the Bangladeshi high commission in New Delhi are working to ascertain the veracity of “derogatory remarks and distortion” of historical facts in the film.
The development came as Bangladeshi people reacted to the film directed by Ali Abbas Zafar after it was noticed that it “misrepresented” the birth of the country as a result of an India-Pakistan war, and undermined the armed resistance by Bangladeshi freedom fighters.
The film, released on February 14, mentions in an opening narration that “Bangladesh is born as Pakistan surrenders on December 16 at the end of the India-Pakistan war”.
According to viewers, the film apparently indicated that Bangladeshis were involved in crimes like arms smuggling while there were insinuations that they preferred identifying themselves as Indians.
The issue was in focus on social networks with Bangladeshis, mostly youths, expressing their annoyance and condemnation for the film’s contents. People also organised an online campaign and sent petitions to the film’s producer.
According to protesters, the film does not address the eight months of fighting by freedom fighters with Indian support against Pakistani troops during the Liberation War, when some three million people were killed.
The protests prompted the production company, Yash Raj Films, to apologise in a statement on its blog last week for “any disrespect or hurt” the film has caused Bangladeshis.
“This was and is meant to be a fictional work and does not in any way project or disrespect any particular segment of society or persons or a nation,” the statement said.
Source- The Times of India.