Aarakshan's talk show cancelled in Lucknow


By Hindustan Times

The District Administration of Lucknow has cancelled the permission for a talk show on Aarakshan (reservation) between students and the star cast of Prakash Jha’s forthcoming film Aarakshan on law and order grounds. The event for the promotion of the movie was scheduled in a private school auditorium of the state capital for August 4.

The administration had earlier given nod for organising the event at City Montessori School (CMS) auditorium in Gomti Nagar area of the city after receiving report from the police authorities. The administration, however, cancelled its earlier permission on Wednesday. “The permission has been cancelled. The second police report that we received hinted that the event can lead to law and order situation in the city,” Ram Singhasan Prem, additional district magistrate (Trans Gomti) said while confirming the cancellation.

Earlier Lucknow University and Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University in Lucknow had denied permission for a similar debate to be organised on campus. Consequently, the local event coordinators started zeroing in on a few private locations.

Film stars including Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Manoj Bajpai were expected to visit the city for the talk show tomorrow. Till Tuesday evening, nearly 940 students had registered their names for participation in the show at the Picasso animation office in the city. Four hundred selected students were supposed to interact with the cast of the movie

When contacted, director Prakash Jha feigned his ignorance on the development: "I am not aware of anything as of now," he said.

The local co-coordinator of the event, Arun Srivastava confirmed: "We have just received the notice of cancellation of the interaction event of students with the film stars. I had just had a word with Jha and he is yet to revert on the strategy."

He, however, said that the cancellation was only for the interaction part of the programme: "The press conference may still happen but the hotel management (Lineage in Gomti Nagar) is skeptical about holding the event at their newly constructed hotel."

The school founder-manager Jagdish Gandhi told Hindustan Times, " I was under the impression that it's an educational debate but when told about the sensitivity of the issued today, I myself denied the event to happen at our premises. Permission or no permission (from government), it will surely not happen here,” he added.