Kolkata The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday quashed a public interest litigation (PIL) that prayed for a stay on the release of the film ‘Gumnaami’, based on the recluse ‘Gumnami Baba’, whom many believed to be freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in disguise.
According to the director Srijit Mukherjee, the film explores various theories connected to Netaji’s disappearance in 1945, one of them being the theory related to ‘Gumnami Baba’.
A division bench of Justice Biswanath Sommader and Justice Arindam Mukherjee rejected the PIL moved by All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) leader Debobrata Roy.
According to the judges, the matter cannot be considered as public interest and only pertains to the personal interest of the petitioner. The bench asked the petitioner why he moved the high court after the censor board had given its nod to the film.
‘Gumnaami’, produced by Shri Venkatesh Films (SVF), is based on the Manoj Kumar Mukherjee Commission hearings which happened from 1999 to 2005 where the three theories about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s death were discussed and debated. It is a dramatisation of the hearings where an investigative journalist supporting the ‘Gumnaami Baba theory’ locks horns with the official lawyer who supports the ‘plane-crash theory’. In their clash, the ‘Death in Russia theory’ also comes up.
The film has triggered a controversy with a section of family members of the late leader making public statements denouncing the movie for giving credence to the theory of ‘Gumnami Baba’. Calling the idea of the film “naive”, Netaji’s grand nephew and history professor at Harvard University Sugato Bose has called it an “insult to the memory of Netaji”.
The Bengali version of the film is set to release on October 4, with the one in Hindi set to hit the screens on October 11.
The film features Prosenjit Chatterjee in the double role of Netaji and Gumnami Baba and also stars Anirban Bhattacharya and Tanusree Chakraborty.