“Gazab ka junoon hai iski aankh main (There’s a remarkable obsession in his eyes).” “Rashtravaad hi meri sampatti hai (Nationalism is all I have acquired).” “…ek din ek sachha mard Dilli ki kursi par baithe (One day, a true man should take the helm in Delhi).” These are among the 17 lines in the film, PM Narendra Modi, the Election Commission has cited in its report to the Supreme Court to endorse its stand on deferring the release of the biopic until after the Lok Sabha polls.
After watching the film, the EC has told the Supreme Court that PM Narendra Modi is not only a biopic, but also has dialogues, symbols, and presentation that “eulogises a public representative”.
“This can be categorised as hagiography,” the EC has said in its opinion submitted to SC this week, adding that permitting its release will “tilt the balance in favour of a particular party” during the ongoing LS polls.
The poll panel’s view is based on feedback from its senior officers who watched the film on April 17. The six EC officers, in their report to the Commission, have described the biopic as “unabashedly unidimensional” and cited 17 examples from the film to prove how the subject, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acquires a “cult” and “saintly” status in the film.
The SC is currently hearing a petition filed by the four producers against the EC’s order directing them to not release the film. On April 10, the poll panel banned the release of the film while the Model Code of Conduct is in force. On April 12, the makers of the biopic approached the apex court against the EC’s order on the ground that it violates their freedom of speech and expression, and freedom to carry on business.
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On April 15, the apex court directed the EC to watch the biopic and report back to it. The EC was asked to submit the report by April 22, which it did Monday. The Supreme Court will consider the matter on April 26.
Consider some of the lines and dialogues from the 135-minute film that the EC felt would disrupt the level-playing field in the Lok Sabha elections:
At 21 minutes, 38 seconds:
Modi (played by Vivek Oberoi) says: “Rashtravaad hi meri sampatti hai, janta hi mera dhan hai… sar uthega Tirange ke liye, awaaz uthegi awaam ke liye (Nationalism is all that I have acquired and the people are my wealth… I’ll raise my head for the tricolour and I’ll raise my voice for the common people).”
At 28 mins, 32 secs:
Voiceover says: “Namo Namo gunjega is desh mein (Namo Namo will echo throughout this country).”
At 29 mins, 16 secs:
Voiceover says: “Aur 1980 main janm hua ek nayi soch ka jiska naam tha BJP (A new mindset was born in 1980, which was called the BJP).”
At 33 mins, 28 secs:
Modi: “Chawaalis saalon se ye baatein hi kiye jaa rahe hain. Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin mante. Seedha chetawani do Pakistan ko ki Kashmir chhodo varna hum tumhe tod denge (They have only been talking for the last 44years. Punishment is justice for the unjust. Warn Pakistan that it should leave Kashmir or else we will ruin them).”
At 35 mins, 11 secs:
An Indian Army Major says: “Apni toh bas ek hi baat hai ki ek din ek sachha mard Dilli ki kursi par baithe. Jis din usne hamare haath khol diye, un saalon ke ghar main ghus kar unhain maarenge (I wish one day a real man comes to power in Delhi. The day that man gives us a free hand, we’ll hit them inside their homes).”
At 1 hour 21 mins, 49 secs:
Minister: “Haan pagal ho gaya hoon aur mujhe pagal banaya Modi ne. Na khata hai, na khane deta hai. Na sota hai, na sone deta hai. (I’m going crazy and it’s Modi who is driving me crazy. He doesn’t get bribed nor allows anyone else to. He doesn’t sleep and doesn’t let’s others too).”
At 1hr, 39 mins, 15 secs:
A leader says: “Gujarat ki in seats main hum kaise haare? Woh to minorities dominated seats thi (How did we lose these seats in Gujarat? These seats are dominated by the minorities).”
A Second leader responds: “Yes ma’am, ab toh pushtaini vote bank bhi uske saath mein ho gayi (Yes ma’am, now even your ancestral vote bank is with him).”
A third leader says: “Kar kaise raha hai? I am confused (How is he doing this? I am confused).”
Second leader: “Simple, Modi changed the political formula of the game – from divide and rule to unite and rule.”
At 1hr, 42 mins, 9 secs:
Modi: “Pakistan ko janm kisne diya? 1947 main akhand Bharat ke tukde-tukde kis party ne kiye? Agar Nehru ji ki jagah Sardar Patel PM hote, toh na hum Cheen ki ladaai haarte, na aadha Kashmir Pakistan ke pass hota, aur na hi aatankwaad ki wajah se humare veer sipahiyon ke dar sarhad pe katate (Who gave birth to Pakistan? Who broke our country into pieces in 1947? If Sardar Patel, instead of Nehru, was our PM then neither would we have have lost the war with China nor would have Pakistan taken half of Kashmir away nor would our brave soldiers have lost their lives because of terrorism).”
At 1hr, 50 mins, 21 secs:
Pakistan Army Major: “Gazab ka junoon hai iski aankh main. Agar Modi jeeta toh Pakistan ko hara dega(There’s a remarkable obsession in his eyes. If Modi wins, he will defeat Pakistan)”