Visva-Bharati University has refused to grant permission for on-campus shooting of ‘Nalini’ – a Priyanka Chopra production on the “relationship” between teenaged Rabindranath Tagore and a Marathi girl, university sources said.
“We have come to the decision after discussing the script with all authorities concerned, including ashramites and experts on Tagore. We can’t allow the shoot of such films on the campus, it might hurt the sentiments of millions,” officiating Vice-Chancellor Sabuj Koli Sen said Saturday.
At the meeting with university officials, the director of ‘Nalini’, Ujjwal Chatterjee, was apprised of the decision, Sen said. “This is an educational institution. We don’t want to disrupt its environment by allowing the shooting of commercial films,” he added.
The film is based on written documents and “extensive research” on 17-year-old Tagore’s “relation” with Annapurna Turkhad in 1878-79, director Chatterjee had said in the past. Turkhad was the daughter of a Maharashtra-based family friend, who taught young Tagore western manners before his trip to the UK.
Chatterjee, who claimed that former officiating vice-chancellor Swapan Kumar Datta had granted him written permission for campus shoots in January, asserted that he would move Ministry of Human Resource Development for its intervention into the matter. He argued that the feature film was a Tagore biopic, which drew instances from researched documents.
To Sen’s view that ‘Nalini’ was a commercial film, Chatterjee said, “Every film has a commercial side. But films like Nalini are artistic exercises which stem from the desire to document a part of history.”
“We will take up the issue with the Centre and produce all previous correspondences with former officiating VC Swapan Kumar Datta, including the last letter on January 6,” he said
Datta, as officiating VC, had given consent to the shooting on behalf of Visva-Bharati after the central university’s suggestions for deleting a scene and revising the script were taken into consideration, Chatterjee said.
The university cannot revoke its previous consent letter under the tenure of a new officiating VC, he added.