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“Newton” deserves to be banned

Lalit Shastri

It’s mayhem – massacre of all that the security forces, the top brass and the media stand for

I have toured extensively and interacted with the local population, district authorities and security personnel in the maoist affected areas of undivided Madhya Pradesh in the ’90s and thereafter in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.

Maoist violence has emerged as the biggest internal security challenge since Independence. It started as two independent streams in the forests of North Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh and forest areas of Bengal and undivided Bihar in the ’80s and has spread to a large number of states.


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The Maoists trace their roots to the radical elements that broke away from the CPI and the CPI-M after these parties joined the electoral democracy. The origin of Maoist violence is directly linked to two factions of naxalites, – the People’s War Group (PWG) of Andhra Pradesh and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) of Bihar.

Newton – the main character

In his film “Newton”, which will be India’s official entry at Oscars 2018, I have no hesitation in saying, the Director Amit Masurkar has tried to get away with murder by depicting the security forces posted in the Maoist affected area as anti-democracy self seeking tyrants. The security personnel are shown as riff-raff treating their job as picnic and their posting in the Maoist infested forest area as an opportunity to subjugate and exploit the tribals- all under the garb and excuse of making a comedy and a political satire using freedom of expression as a shield.

One could have bracketed Newton as a comedy or satire only if it had not been loaded with a one-sided message that the security personnel, who are actually laying down their life and are always ready for the supreme sacrifice while fighting the scourge of Maoist violence, had not been depcited so poorly.

It appears that the script of this film, if not written by a maoist, at least has been approved by the Maoist leadership.


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As the film starts, it begins on a positive note but soon touches the nadir when the police and security personnel are shown as characters bent upon sabotaging the democratic election process by discouraging the polling team from actually going to the village and setting up a polling booth to allow the villagers to cast their vote. Watching the film thereafter was shear torture. One could sum up by saying it is mayhem – massacre of all that the security forces, the top brass and the media stand for.

Newton, produced by Manish Mundra, should be banned. One wonders how the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) cleared this film.

Author is Editor-in chief,

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