Gujarat HC issues notices to CBFC, makers of film ‘Guthlee Ladoo’ over use of offensive casteist word

The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued notices to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the makers of upcoming Hindi film “Guthlee Ladoo” in a petition challenging the use of an offensive term for the Valmiki community.

The court of Justice Vaibhavi Nanavati issued notice returnable on October 11 on a petition filed by one Nimesh Vaghela through his lawyer Vishal Thakker seeking removal of a word from the film scheduled to be released on October 13 as well as withdrawal of its certification.

The petition said the film violated the provisions of The Cinematograph Act, 1952 as well as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention and Atrocities) Act 1989 by using the said term, which hurts the sentiments of the Valmiki community.

The petitioner said he does not oppose the theme of the movie but is against the use of the hurtful term as well as the decision of the CBFC to grant “U” certification to the movie.

The term is used several times during a conversion between a mother and son in the movie trailer, stated the petition.

“The movie Guthlee Ladoo describes the agony of a kid of Valmiki Samaj, but at the same time, usage of the term Bhangi has been quiet often, and the same has hurt the feelings of the people of Valmiki Samaj,” the petition said.

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“Theoretical and doctrinal underpinnings justifying restraints on derogatory and disparaging display of emotions may be traced to two primary factors: human dignity as a value as well as a right and the Preambular goals of ‘equality’ and ‘fraternity,” it stated.

The use of the term is prohibited under SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and the petitioner made representation against it before the the President of India, chairman of CBFC, and president National Commission of Scheduled Castes as well as Gujarat chief minister, he said in his plea.

The use of the term in the movie could also lead to large-scale violence and threatens to derail the effort to maintain equality and social balance in the country, the plea claimed.

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