'Aarakshan' controversy: Congress appeals for restraint

Aug 12, 2011 IANS

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) With ongoing controversy over filmmaker Prakash Jha's movie "Aarakshan" showing no signs of abating, the Congress party Friday appealed to people for restraint and not to get excited over the issue.

"I am sure something would be worked out. I would like to appeal to everybody to be restrained about it and not get excited because unnecessary building up passion really does not help the cause either way," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

The release of "Aarakshan", themed on caste-based reservations in the Indian educational system and government jobs, was banned in the three states of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, fearing strong public reaction to the anti-Dalit comments in the narrative. It released in other states Friday.

Jha has moved the Supreme Court against the ban and hearing on his petition has been scheduled for Tuesday.

"In situations like this, there are two views. There is always the argument that the freedom of expression should be unfettered. There will be always an argument on the other side about their apprehension of the breach of law and order. Those apprehensions have to be kept in mind," Tewari said.

The Congress leader said that the government and the administration have to tread a very fine balance in order to see that the equilibrium between the freedom of speech and the imperative of maintaining law and order are somehow reconciled.

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