RGV’s ‘Kamma Rajyamlo’ Release Stayed Over Title’s Caste Allusions
The Telangana High Court on Thursday, 28 November, stayed the release of Ram Gopal Verma’s film Kamma Rajyam Lo Kadapa Redlu and has directed him to change the title. The direction came after hearing a writ petition filed by Ram Gopal Verma who sought an order to instruct the film board to certify it at the earliest since it was scheduled to release on 29 November. “The director is bound to carry out the recommendations made by the board. The board should also consider representations made by some about the film’s title hurting sentiments of certain communities,” the court observed according the The Hindu.
Kamma Rajyam Lo Kadapa Redlu is a satire based on the political situation in Andhra Pradesh. It stars Malayalam actor Ajmal Amir in the role of the state’s chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, along with a cast of lookalikes of prominent Andhra politicians, including Praja Shanti Party leader KA Paul, Chandrababu Naidu and Nara Lokesh. The title bears similarities to the names of the caste groups of Andra Pradesh’s Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress Party.
In a letter to the Regional Officer of the Regional Board of Film Certification dated 28 November, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, advisor to the Government (Public Affairs) alleged that the title and poster “suggest that there is a confrontation between two castes”. “We request you to direct the concerned production house to change the title as it has caste-based overtures and civil society with social responsibility cannot accept such as a title that has a direct reference to two castes,” it read. Businessman Indrasena Chowdary had also filed a PIL plea seeking an order not to permit the exhibition of the film in theatres or its release online and on social media platforms.
According to reports, following the controversy surrounding the film, Ram Gopal Verma has agreed to change the name to Amma Rajyam Lo Kadapa Biddalu.
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