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Filmmaker Hansal Mehta manhandled by protestors!
08th Nov 2000   15.21 IST
By N K Deoshi  

Artistic freedom is quelled again. Another Mehta comes under the ire of Sena activists.

This time it is filmmaker Hansal Mehta who was manhandled because a dialogue in his latest film Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar had enraged some members of the Koli fishermen community in North West Mumbai.

It is reported that although Mehta had promised to scrap the questionable dialogue, which referred a particular place in Mumbai as the den of crime and prostitution, the process took time as the film's print had been distributed across the country. The self-appointed judges however ran out of patience and spewed their wrath upon the young filmmaker. He was even made to touch a Koli woman's feet.

No doubt democracy gives an artist the freedom of expression, it also gives us the right to protest (in a peaceful way) if a piece of art hurts people's sentiments. It is when these protests take a violent turn that bounds of propriety are infringed. No one knows this better than artists like Deepa Mehta, M F Hussain and Ghulam Ali.

Mehta himself believes that a work of fiction ought not be taken so seriously. As for people who were miffed with the dialogue in the film they sure overlooked the very title of the film that said Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar.