The Delhi High Court has junked a plea seeking a ban on screening of “MSG-2 The Messenger” on the ground that it depicts ‘Adivasis’ as anti-national, noting the film’s trailer depicts “a fantasy to the viewers and has to be understood in that light only.”
A bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said the reference in the film to “adivasis” is not found to be relatable in any manner to scheduled tribes.
“The subject of the film from the trailer is found to be depicting a fantasy to the viewers and has to be understood in the said light only. In fact, in some scenes in the trailer, adivasis are shown with two horns and having the lower body as of an animal and the upper torso of a human being,” it said.
The bench said with the vast reach of the electronic and print media in each and every nook and corner of the country, people can’t be said to be “so naive as to be not able to distinguish between real and fantasy”.
It said the petition by Prem Mardi undermines the “average intelligence” of Indian citizens and proceeds on the premise of viewers of film to be of such an intellect and understanding, so as to immediately after watching the film, they would start imitating the fantasy shown in the movie.
“In my opinion, only such films can be said to be having propensity of inculcating hatred, ill-will and violence towards a person or group of persons which show life as is ordinarily understood by the viewers and not a film which, to the average viewers understanding, is not depicting life but a fantasy or what is surreal,” the judge said.
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and advocate Akash Nagar had contended that a reading of the entire script of the trailer does not make out a case of violation of the law to disclose an offence.
The plea filed by Mardi also sought an interim stay on the release of the Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh starrer and said the matter should be decided after holding a special screening of the film.