It’s an incident that is sure to send shock-waves across the film industry. The Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh government has banned Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan for a period of two months.

Aarakshan Movie Stills
Happy times?: The release of Aarakshan has been banned in U.P. and Punjab.

Using its powers under clause 6 (1) of state films regulation act, the UP government banned the film citing probable law and order problems.

Aarakshan, releasing on August 12, is based on the contentious issues of reservation and commercialization of education. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone in leading roles.

The film found itself at the centre of a controversy over whether it should be released or not. While the Censor Board of Film Certification had passed the film with a ‘UA’ certificate without any cuts, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes had asked the CBFC to delete the portions where the backward community has been portrayed in a derogatory manner.

If the ban is not lifted by tomorrow (August 12), it will tell on the business of the film in the Delhi-U.P. circuit.

Update: Aarakshan banned in Punjab

Close on the heels of the U.P. government’s ban came the ban by the Punjab government. The Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government of Punjab said that it was apprehensive that some scenes and dialogues in the film may trigger trouble. The ban will remain in force till the screening committee constituted by the state previews the film and submits report.

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