The Tashkent Files, a movie based on the incidents surrounding the mysterious death of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, is scheduled to release on 12th April. The trailer of the movie was realised on 25th March, and it seems to be a very well researched film.
But just two days ahead of release, the makers of the movie have faced objections. Last night, the makers of the movie received a legal notice from Vibhakar Shastri and Diwakar Shastri objecting to the release of the movie. They are grandsons of Lt Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Vibhakar Shastri is a prominent leader of the Congress party.
The legal notice sent to Vivek Agnihotri Creates and Zee Studios say that the movie has been made in an attempt to create unwanted and unnecessary controversy and propaganda surrounding the death of India’s second PM. The notice also asserts that no foul play was suspected in the death of Shastri, saying that the movie is not only wrong portrayal of facts, but it is also illegal, incorrect and improper merger of fact and fiction. The grandsons of Shastri says that the former PM passed away 53 years ago and now an unwanted and unnecessary hype is created on the event. They also say that the movie will create law and order situation as Lok Sabha elections are about to start.
They have asked the producers not to release the movie, and also asked that a pre-screening should be arranged for the family members of Lal Bahadur Shastri to seek their approval release of the movie. They have also asked the CBFC to stop the release of the film.
Vivek Agnihotri, who has written and directed the movie, reacted strongly to the legal notice. He expressed surprise that despite the family members already watching the movie, they sent this notice. He said that the family members watched the film on 7th April in Delhi at PVR, and after that they had met him and appreciating the movie. Agnihotri says that the family has been pressurised by the ‘top family’ object the movie, and they are being used as scapegoats.
Here is the full statement issued by Vivek Agnihotri-
“Last night we have been served a legal notice seeking to stop the release of the film by the prominent Congress member and also Ex-Secretary of Congress who also happens to be Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson and a close aide of the top family. This is despite them seeing the film, appreciating it and expressing their gratitude to me in person in the 7th April in Delhi at PVR.
I have come to know from the horse’s mouth that they have been coerced to do this by the top family. Shastri’s grandsons have been used as scapegoats as the orders are from the top family. I fail to understand why would the top Congress leaders do that? Why would Congress want to stop the movie, shut me up. Why am I being constantly bullied, threatened to release the film? Why are they scared of a movie that raises some questions on a citizen’s #RightToTruth?
This is the first film in the history of Indian cinema which is dedicated to the journalists of India. This is a rare film where a young journalist comes out victor in her crusade to #RightToTruth.
I expect our journalists to ask the top family and all concerned why do they want to stop the release of the film? What is making them feel so threatened?”
It can be noted that members of the Shastri family were participating in the promotion of the movie, which was in the news for a long time.
Shastri Family And Star Cast Of The Film Promoted The Most Controversial Movie Of The Year “The Tashkent Files“ In National Capital#TheTashkentFiles #ShastriFamily https://t.co/JYmyqVHvf5 pic.twitter.com/9cbu26FemD
— Bollyy (@Bollyydotcom) March 26, 2019
They were also present at the launch of the trailer of the movie. Talking to OpIndia at that occasion, the former PM’s son Sunil Shastri has congratulated Vivek Agnihotri. Grandson Sanjay Shastri also said that he always wanted the truth to come out, and was glad that Vivek Agnihotri, through his movie is divulging the facts. Therefore, it is certainly a sudden step taken by two grandsons, who also happen to be associated with the Congress party, to oppose the movie now.