Indian Election Commission has barred a biopic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi starring Vivek Oberoi in the lead role, until after the national elections.
The movie “PM Narendra Modi” was set to hit cinemas early in April, but was delayed until the 12th of this month – a move termed as propaganda from the country’s main opposition party Congress.
The Indian Election Commission swung into action and halted its release, saying that:
Any biopic “which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections should not be displayed.”
Thwarted by Rules
The election rules in India conditions the publication of any content deemed as campaign material – including advertisements, films, and even social media – with the election commission´s prior approval.
A trailer released last month attracted fierce reactions from the opposition. Congress had called the release of biopic a move to influence millions of voters as the country enters in the national election on Thursday.
This is a pivotal victory for Congress as previously, the movie had been okayed for release from the censor board with a few minor tweaks.
About the Modi Biopic
The movie depicts the life story of Narendra Modi as a Hindu nationalist who went through the hardships of life, by selling tea on train stations, his time in the right-wing Hindu RSS organization and as chief minister of western Gujarat state, right till his way to becoming the Prime Minister of the country.
While an official date for the film’s release has been thrown off after the Election Commission’s new order, we know that it cannot release until May 19 – when the elections end.
The commission that heard Congress’ petition against the movie observed that the power of media must not be used in such a manner which affects the general conduct of the elections.