March 30, 2023

army: Onir film refused NOC as it showed force in ‘poor light’, raised ‘security issues’: Army | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The script of Onir‘s next feature film, inspired by the real-life story of a gay Major, was rejected because it showed the Army deployed in Kashmir in “poor light” and raised “security issues”, the defence ministry said on Friday.
“The reason for refusal for granting a no-objection certificate (NOC) for a movie based on the life of an Army officer (retd) is the portrayal of a romantic relationship between a soldier serving in Kashmir and a local boy, which casts the Army in poor light and raises security issues,” junior defence minister Ajay Bhatt said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
Only one out of the 18 proposals for films, documentaries and TV series received by the Army from filmmakers and producers in the last one year has been rejected, he added.
Onir had sought the defence establishment’s permission to make the film, which was inspired by the story of a gay Major who quit because it was no longer tenable for him to remain a homosexual and be in the Army, as a sequel to his National Award-winning film titled ‘I Am’, as was reported by TOI last month.
Responding to BJP member Varun Gandhi‘s question in Lok Sabha, Bhatt said the approval process was not arbitrary or discriminatory in nature, nor did it violate Article 14 of the Constitution.
“Each case is considered based on its merits keeping in view factors like national security, the defence of India, situation of law and order, maintenance of discipline in the armed forces, ethos and customs of military service, general sentiments of the citizens, and the image of the armed forces in the minds of public,” Bhatt said.
The rationale behind issuing NOC to filmmakers and producers for movies based on defence-related themes is to ensure that the armed forces are not depicted in a manner which brings disrepute to them, the government or the country. He also stressed the approval process was not violative of Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution.

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