Working towards 'freeing the Bengali film industry' from West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's influence, Union Minister (MoS) Babul Supriyo has teamed with members belonging to the art community, on Thursday, to launch the 'Khola Hawa' unit, as announced by the singer-turned-politician in a press conference in Kolkata. Addressing the media, Supriyo claimed that artists were being suppressed in Bengal. Attributing the inspiration as Rabindranath Tagore's poem- 'Khola Hawa', Suprio said that all members were from BJP. He added that the membership may change in the future.
"Artists are under supression. People can't breathe normally hence we named it 'Khola Hawa'. We are from a particular political party (BJP). Time will only say if this is a political unit or not. But aim is to free the film industry of the culture of 'their way or highway'," said Supriyo.
Talking about the independence of the film fraternity, he hit out at Banerjee's interference. He said that Trinamool was politicising the industry. Launching the unit on educational reformer Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar's birth anniversary, he said that such interference was not prevalent in Bollywood. He said such interference was bad for democracy.
"Why should everyone need to politicize everything? There is a question on independent filmmaking and that cannot happen in a democracy. Hence we are creating this unit. Especially on the 200th Birthday of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar. In Bombay, its the independent decision of Producer and director to take technicians if they are going to shoot abroad. In Bombay, you will never hear that (Maharashtra CM) Fadnavis is sitting for a film meet," he added.
He continued his attack on Banerjee, saying, "Whatever happens in India, should happen in Bengal as well. We all know what happens in various structures of society. Bengali films are not getting theatres (to display) and a superstar MP is speaking on it. Why does the CM need to intervene in this? Shouldn't the producers and directors sit and solve it?"
News about Mamata Banerjee's proximity in Tollywood has been doing the rounds for a very long time. Reports state that the release of her list of Trinamool Congress candidates for the Lok Sabha polls was a star-studded event with Tollywood's biggest stars like Moon Moon Sen, Satabdi Roy, and Dev attending the event. Many new stars too had reportedly joined the event, displaying Banerjee undiminished power over the industry. Banerjee had reportedly also roped in many stars into the party pre-elections.
According to several reports, Anik Dutta’s film Bhabishyater Bhoot had been stalled from releasing. Curiously, reports state that two days prior to the release of the Trinamool list, many who support the star marched down the streets, but the majority of the stars refrained from being involved. Several movie stars-turned-MPs too did not comment on the issue. The filmmaker had reportedly stated most stars had made excuses for the no show, while some had apparently gone out of town indicating the invisible power stifling the film's release.