Priya Prakash Varrier case: 4 times Supreme Court had to step in for ridiculous non-issues

In the name of pride, honour and dignity of the country/community? Really?

Hearing an urgent petition filed by Priya Prakash Varrier and Oru Adaar Love director Omar Lulu, the Supreme Court of India stalled any criminal proceeding against them today. The petition sought to quash FIRs filed against Varrier and the director for hurting religious sentiments of the Muslim community.

Varrier shot to fame for her ‘expressions’ in the song Manikya Malarayi Poovi in the upcoming Malayalam movie, Oru Adaar Love.

For the uninitiated, the Manikya Malarayi Poovi controversy has been doing rounds for quite a few days. Keeping alive the trend of getting offended, a few fringe groups found the song’s lyrics troublesome and filed an FIR against Varrier and Omar Lulu in Hyderabad. In all, three complaints have been filed against them (one in Telangana and two in Maharashtra), which compelled the two to move the apex court.

In the petition filed on the behalf of the actress and the director, it was contended that “the song is originally from an old folk song from Kerala which was written in 1978 by Mr PMA Jabbar. It was first sung by Thalassery Rafeeq in the praise of the Prophet and his wife Beevi Khadija, and the claims that it hurts the religious sentiments of the Muslim Community are without any basis,” reported the Indian Express.

Here’s a look at the past instances when people got offended for ridiculous reasons and dragged the Supreme Court and wasted its time to decide a non-issue:

1. Padmavati Padmaavat and the imaginary kissing scene

After a long-drawn battle between director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shri Rajput Karni Sena, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana refused to screen the movie, despite being cleared by the Censor Board. Not only did the apex court lift the ban on the movie, it rebuked the respective Chief Ministers of these states for overriding the decision of a constitutional authority (CBFC).  The SC bench proclaimed:

“Creative freedom, freedom of speech and expression can’t be guillotined… artistic freedom has to be protected.”

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Also readPadmavati row: Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film

2. Aiyaary and the ‘honour’ of defence officers 

Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary was cleared for release on February 16 by the Censor Board after getting delayed for over two weeks. The clearance was issued only after a special screening was held for the Ministry of Defense. The ministry wanted to review the film which was set against the backdrop of the Indian army. But some defence officers residing in Mumbai’s Adarsh Housing Co-operative Society sought a ban on the movie from the Supreme Court, as per the Hindustan Times. Reason: The content of the movie might malign names of a few officers. Decision:

“We are not going to look into this case because someone has some apprehensions. The Central Board of Film Certification has already given a certificate to the movie.”

Aiyaary, , Aiyaary CBFC, Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Pandey movies, Aiyaary PadMan

3. National Anthem in cinema halls – To be or not to be 

The most important lingering debate of 2016-17 could unarguably be this one: to play or not to play the national anthem, and to stand or not to stand while it plays in cinema halls. All in the name of nationalism and patriotism.

The Supreme Court, going back on its November 2016 order, declared on January 10 that neither is it mandatory for the halls to play the national anthem, nor is it mandatory for people to stand up while it is playing.

National Anthem Supreme Court

Audience standing up for national anthem in theatre

Also readSupreme Court says playing #NationalAnthem in theatres ‘not mandatory’

4. Indu Sarkar and the ‘biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi’ 

The CBFC suggested 14 cuts to Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar, a movie based on the Emergency period 1975-77. Abiding by the CBFC’s directions, the director made revisions to the movie but not before a woman claiming herself to be the biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi sought a stay on its July 28 release. The woman alleged that the movie is ‘full of concocted facts and totally derogatory,’ according to the Indian Express. SC dismissed the plea stating:

 “The film, based on the 1975-1977 Emergency period, is an artistic expression within the parameters of law and there was no justification to stall its release.”

Indu Sarkar, Anupam Kher, Kirti Kulhari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Supriya Vinod

Anupam Kher, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Kirti Kulhari and Supriya Vinod in a still from Indu Sarkar.

If only, these ‘saviours’ of the country’s pride, honour and dignity (or a community) could understand that first, they’re wasting the apex court’s precious time and taxpayers (their own) money.  And more importantly, they are actually making a fool of themselves and bringing disgrace to the country, in an attempt to gain momentary publicity.