| Aparna Sen (right) with daughter Konkona during a news conference to promote Mr and Mrs Iyer. (Reuters)
Mumbai, Jan. 17: There are two versions of Mr and Mrs Iyer doing the rounds. One is for the whole of India, the other for “communally sensitive” Mumbai.
Following objections from Mumbai police, the producers of Aparna Sen’s critically acclaimed film have removed two “communally provocative” scenes from the three prints being shown in the city.
The first scene has a Hindu man, using abusive language, saying Muslims should be sent back to Pakistan, said a representative of Shringar Films, the producers.
The second scene has a policeman mouthing a swearword targeted at some persons.
Both scenes could take on communal overtones in a city that is perpetually wary of another Hindu-Muslim carnage, the police felt.
The police had asked for a special screening of the film before giving the permission to screen the film, Shringar Films said, or deletion of the two scenes.
But since the screening would cause delay, the producers removed the scenes.
Those who saw the film in its entirety, however, felt it was meaningless to lop off the “provocative” scenes, as they had only helped Sen to make her point: the destructive power of communal hatred.
Mr and Mrs Iyer is set in the backdrop of communal riots. The film, which has won several awards in the country and abroad, has a young woman — played by Konkona, Sen’s daughter — from a very conservative Tamil Brahmin family who saves the life of a Muslim man as the violence breaks out by pretending that he is her husband. A romance blossoms between these two disparate individuals.
Shringar Films has released 19 prints of Mr and Mrs Iyer across the country. The film is doing well commercially, too, Shringar added.