I’m Durga, this Is My Story: ‘S Durga’ Actor Rajshree at IFFI
Over 48-hours since the Kerala High Court’s order asking for Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s film Sexy Durga (now retitled as S Durga) to be screened at the ongoing International Film Festival of India, the filmmakers have no information about the status of their film at IFFI.
While there are reports that the government is considering a challenge to the order, the IFFI Festival Director, Sunit Tandon, appears to be clueless regarding what needs to be done. According to reports, he evaded all questions about the S Durga screening from media persons at the festival.
Meanwhile actor Rajshree Deshpande, who plays the title role of Durga in the S Durga, spoke to the press at IFFI in Goa about the unnecessary controversy around the film and its title:
“I’m Durga, I’m playing Durga, this is my story. This is every woman’s story which you can see on the road. It’s every human being’s story. For god’s sake there is nothing in the film which will hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. I’m really requesting please watch the film and then decide.”Rajshree Deshpande, Actor, ‘S Durga’
“Sexy is bold for me, sexy is - I am standing here, talking to all the people over here, I’m fighting for it, that’s my sexy. But, the way people look at me? They don’t think I’m a bold woman, they don’t think I’m courageous. No! they are just seeing my body. I can’t help it,” said Rajshree trying to interpret how the word “sexy” could be perceived.
Actor Kannan Nayar, confirmed that there was no official communication from the government or IFFI about the screening of their film even 48 hours after the Kerala HC order. Citing the government’s decision to stall the screening of S Durga despite the HC directive as contempt of court, Nayar made a plea:
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, the director of S Durga, is away from all the action at IFFI for the moment as he’s currently in Australia to attend the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards which were held yesterday. But Sanal posted a thought-provoking message on his Facebook page saying that “...it is petty from the part of a Government to declare a war against its citizen.”
“The government of India has every right legally to file an appeal against the order of the Honourable Kerala High Court directing it to screen S Durga in IFFI. But it is petty from the part of a Government to declare a war against its citizen, an artist for the reason of making a film. Union of India Vs Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is a symbol. This is a beginning of a new era in the history of Indian democracy. The only idea is to delay the matter further and to avoid the screening of the film in IFFI at any cost. If all the legal battles I won, I fear what kind of weapon the state is going to use against me. Will it rethink the self moratorium in using those mighty warheads?”Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, Director, ‘S Durga’
It remains to be seen if the government does challenge the Kerala High Court order or agrees to screen S Durga at IFFI before the festival closes on 28 November.
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)