Aamir Khan's 'Rang De Basanti' on IAF radar

Jan 11, 2006 IANS

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Bollywood actor Aamir Khan's latest venture "Rang De Basanti" is not being viewed kindly by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is upset over scenes apparently showing the armed forces in poor light.

The film revolves around five friends, one of whom is a fighter pilot and dies in a crash involving a MIG-21.

The friends help the family of the dead pilot to cope with the tragedy - and in the process the film delves into murky arms deals by politicians and traders.

While IAF officials said it was not against the freedom of artistic expression, they were opposed to "irresponsible and distorted" portrayal of the reality.

"The IAF has secured a very good track record in flight safety in the last few years. The number of crashes has come down significantly. Therefore the film has come at a wrong time," said an IAF official.

"Showing the IAF and its weaponry in bad light could have been used as a way to create some sensation and to garner free publicity for the movie," he said.

The matter is now in the hands of the information and broadcasting ministry, said Air Marshal P.S. Ahluwalia, director general (inspection and safety).

"If there are objections to the film, the ministry will address them. It would be inappropriate and premature for us to comment on the issue," he told reporters here.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukerjee, along with senior IAF officers, is scheduled to watch a special screening of the film.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the film was to be released Jan 20. The controversy may delay its release.

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Rang De Basanti


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