Decoding Chronology Behind UP Film City: Message–Politics–Culture

People associated with BJP have been accusing Bollywood of spreading obscenity and getting involved in drug rackets.

Published
India
4 min read
CM Yogi Adityanath, himself, seems very actively involved in setting up a Film City in UP.
i

Please chronology samajhiye (understand the chronology):

Since the demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Mumbai Film City has become a subject of controversy. Bollywood is presently subsumed by drug probes, with many big stars are being called in.

Then, controversies around actor Kangana Ranaut, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap occupied centre-stage. And, now, the construction of a grand Film City in UP has started to make news.

CM Yogi Adityanath, himself, seems very actively involved in this matter. A meeting was also held on 22 September in which some celebrities from the Mumbai film world were also spotted.

These included names like Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Kailash Kher, Ashok Pandit, Udit Narayan, Manoj Muntashir, Satish Kaushik, Anup Jalota, Raju Srivastava and Soundarya.

The likes of Madhur Bhandarkar, Kher, Rawal, Vivek Agnihotri, who are generally considered to be leaning towards BJP, have also been very vocal in favour of a Film City in UP.

A meeting was also held on 22 September in which some celebrities from the Mumbai film world were also spotted.
A meeting was also held on 22 September in which some celebrities from the Mumbai film world were also spotted.
(Photo Courtesy: Quint Hindi)

This Film City Will Seek to Further Indian Culture: UP CM

UP CM Adityanath said, after the meeting, that UP is the land of Ram's Ayodhya, Krishna's Mathura, Shiva's Kashi as well as Buddha, Kabir and Mahavir's land. UP is also where there is a confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

It is the symbol of all perfection, said UP CM Adityanath.

“Uttar Pradesh will give a gift to the world by developing a full-fledged Film City.”
UP CM Adityanath

The CM has said that the Film City will boast of modern infrastructure. The work of furthering Indian culture, and UP culture, he added, will also be done from here.

Adityanath also said that Uttar Pradesh is the most important center of Indian culture and civilisation, as well as of India’s rich traditions.

The Yamuna Expressway, where the government seeks to establish the Film City, is linked to India’s history and mythology, as it is part of the Hastinapur region, said the UP CM.

The Politics Behind Film City

From the meeting and the way statements have been issued about the Film City, a bid to establish that it will be a city different from the Mumbai Film City has become evident. People associated with the ruling party have been accusing Bollywood of spreading obscenity and getting involved in drug rackets.

UP’s Film City can also be viewed as an answer to allegations against Bollywood of promoting Western culture.

Akhilesh Says BJP ‘Taking Credit for His Work’

Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav is quite possibly miffed following the new announcement, as he feels the Adityanath government is taking credit for his Expressway and Film City projects.

Akhilesh took to Twitter to say that now the BJP government is ready to inaugurate and take credit for SP’s “Film City”, but “neither is BJP actors’ performance working nor are their dialogues.”

Further, he said that BJP government’s “flop picture is about to come down because advance booking has been done for those who made the real picture for the state.”

Tracing History of Film City Announcements in UP

The talk of a dedicated township for film production first came into discussion during 1988. The then UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav set up a Film City in Sector 16 of Noida in the early 1990s.

Due to proximity to Prasar Bharati's office, it became the first choice for many news channels. Today, almost all big news channels and some entertainment industry offices are located in Noida's Sector 16 Film City.

But, even then, the Noida Film City did not have enough facilities for shooting Bollywood films. Perhaps that is why Bollywood never found its way to it, and Film City of Noida Sector 16 became a hub of news channels.

During the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav, a corporate house announced the formation of a film city on the Agra Expressway, but that film city could never be built.

According to a Times of India report, Akhilesh also called on senior actor Sanjay Khan to start a theme park and film city in Agra, so that the rest of the big Bollywood banners will also work in UP. But this plan never saw light of day either.

The government, however, seems ready to make the country's largest film city in UP. It also wants to promote Bhojpuri and other regional cinema by creating satellite centres in Lucknow and Varanasi.

More Details

The Film City will be set up on about 1,000 acres of land on Yamuna Expressway Sector 21. Out of this, 220 acres will be reserved for commercial activity.

This land is at a 60 km distance from Mathura-Vrindavan and 100 km from Agra. Along with the necessary infrastructure, a Film City Park will also be developed on 35 acres of land.

The region is well connected by rail and road transport. It is also near the yet-to-be-readied Jewar International Airport. Connecting this place with metro, rapid rail transport system and high speed train is also part of the plan.

(This piece was originally published in Quint Hindi and has been translated. Please read the original story
here.)

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