It looks like the intrepid controversy- king Ram Gopal Varma just won’t take no for an answer. With the Censor Board removing his subverted version of the National Anthem from Rann and from being telecast as part of the film’s promotions, Ramu isn’t getting apologetic nor sitting easy. Today, Varma and producers Madhu Mantena and Sheetal Talwar were supposed to go to the High Court to fight the Censor Board’s ruling. But, yesterday afternoon there was a change of plan. The Rann team has now decided to go straight to the Supreme Court to fight for what they think to be their fundamental right to expression. Says co-producer Madhur Mantena, “There has been a change of plan.
We were earlier to go to the High Court. We’re now moving into the Supreme Court, because our lawyers, Naik & Naik feel we’ve a very strong case.” Says Madhu Mantena, “The Censor Board has prevented us from using the song in the film and for the promotions. They’ve cited the rule that applies to National emblems and symbols, not the National Anthem. So, we feel that rule cannot be applicable to our song. As far as we know, the rule regarding the National Anthem is that no one can be stopped from singing it.” Mantena and his co-producer Sheetal Talwar have registered a civil case in the Mumbai High Court against the censor board’s ruling.
The Rann team is determined to fight it out to the last. “We’ve time on our side. We’re releasing Rann in October,” says Mantena, confidently. However, many elements within the film industry feel that Varma should have desisted from creating a controversial situation with such dangerous subversive undertones in a film where the Big B plays such a pivotal part. “It’s an unnecessary burden on his over-burdened sense of commitment to his projects. When its Mr. Bachchan, you’ve got to be very careful with what goes into his projects because there are political elements waiting to pick holes in what he does,” says a filmmaker who’s making a film with the Big B. Interestingly, Big B was supposed to sing a song in Rann. But that’s no longer happening.