Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Mehta's source of Water upsets Jaitley

Mehta's source of Water upsets Jaitley

Uday Mahurkar
News Today Specials
March 13, 2000
Title: Mehta's source of Water upsets Jaitley
Author: Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: March 14, 2000

The Union ministry for information and broadcasting that permitted Deepa Mehta to go ahead with shooting her controversial film Water in India is now reconsidering its decision.

Sources said that Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley is upset that Mehta "did not tell the whole truth" while seeking official clearance.

Reports in the media had said that Mehta had not come completely clean with her claims. Accordingly, she had borrowed heavily from the English translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay's award-winning masterpiece Shei Samati.

What is said to have irked the minister even more is the fact that Mehta, despite exposures by leading national dailies of plagiarism in her screenplay, claimed originality on all counts.

"She did not have the decency to acknowledge that she had borrowed. Weeks after the controversy broke out over the film, Mehta addressed a number of press conferences but not once did she mention the name of Gandgopadhayay. It was only when the issue was picked up by newspapers that she admitted that she had been 'inspired' by the book," said a woman technician who had been hired for Water.

"She is still trying to convince the people that she is right and others are wrong. What about the disparaging comments about the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi in the script?" she asked.

A producer who has been associated with Mehta on her previous two ventures, Fire and Earth, feels that she should wind up and return to Canada.

"After what I have read in the papers I feel Water is history now. There is no way she can make this film after lifting from an award-winning book and not acknowledging the source. Enough is enough, she should forget about the film once and for all," he said.

"The only way out for her," he continued, "is to reach an agreement with the author, the publishers and then try to make her film. Otherwise I do not see her shooting it, even in September."

Sources said Gangopadhyay would visit Delhi shortly to take up the matter with Jaitley personally. He is also likely to meet newsmen and his translator Aruna Chakaravarty if Mehta still refuses to acknowledge her source.

Though some feel that this is asking too much of Mehta, others hold that she has no other way to complete the film.

Neither Jaitley nor Mehta was available for comments.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements