One day after director Madhur Bhandarkar had to call off his press conference in Pune due to the protests by Congress workers outside his hotel over the upcoming Indu Sarkar film, the 48-year-old filmmaker took to the social media and called out Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Bhandarkar took to the micro-blogging website Twitter to reveal that he had to cancel his press conference in Nagpur too which was scheduled for Sunday and asked whether he can have his freedom of expression back. Dear @OfficeOfRG after Pune I have 2 cancel today’s PressCon at Nagpur.Do you approve this hooliganism? Can I have my Freedom of Expression?”,” wrote Bhandarkar on his Twitter handle on Sunday.
Indu Sarkar is reportedly based on the Emergency period which was imposed by the Indira Gandhi government in 1975 as its backdrop. The film reportedly has characters based on the former Prime Minister and her son Sanjay Gandhi. The Congress has objected to the film, saying that it may have portrayed Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi in a bad light. After the Pune press conference was called off on Saturday, Bhandarkar had taken to Twitter and posted, “Congress workers hv barged in the Hotel lobby & created ruckus, me and team are stranded like hostages in hotel room. Pune activity cancelled.”
Video shared by Madhur Bhandarkar:
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) July 16, 2017
In another tweet, he had criticised the party workers for creating a ruckus. “Its baffling to see self-proclaimed custodians of #freedomofExpression creating huge ruckus to prevent a legitimate release of #InduSarkar,” Bhandarkar said in his second tweet. Meanwhile, the local police had detained city Congress chief Ramesh Bagwe and some other workers from outside the hotel. One of these workers told PTI that they were only trying to meet Bhandarkar and express their displeasure over the film.
“We then went to his hotel near the railway station, but he was not willing to meet us. Police reached the spot and detained us saying we had no permission to hold protest,” he said. A statement issued by the city Congress later said its workers “scuttled” Bhandarkar’s scheduled press conference.