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New Delhi: Veteran Malayalam film personality Balachandra Menon feels freedom is being misused in India and does not believe in the manner in which protests are conducted as they break all permissible levels.

Asked about his concept of “creative freedom” for filmmakers, Menon, who has directed more than 40 films and acted in close to 100, told reporters: “There is a strong social premise in our country and I feel today freedom is being misused and not used. There is a right to protest in our country, but at times, the manner in which the protest is done breaks all permissible levels. I don’t agree with it at all.”


The 62-year-old will be in New Delhi to screen his latest film “Njan Samidhanam Cheyyum” to a select audience. He will also interact with them. The film released last year.

Talking about the information and broadcasting ministry’s decision to set up a new committee to look into the functioning of the censor board, which has been mired in controversies, Menon said: “Over the years I have always said what I wanted to say through my films. I have ensured that I will not allow anyone to question what I tell through my films.”

“I have expressed it well too, and have at times argued for the right to express my creative freedom with the censor board officials, and they have allowed me to express it the way I want it.”

Menon, who entered filmdom in the 1970s and has a distinctive style, also pointed out that there are numerous clubs in the country which insist on a dress code.

“Please don’t misunderstand that I am batting for the censor board. But I say the truth from the bottom of my heart.”

“It was in 2001 that in a leading vernacular newspaper I wrote an open letter to then Kerala chief minister A K Antony saying that some sort of benchmark should be set for TV programs. There are rules and regulations, and we live in a country where the Constitution gives us rights and at the same time there are things that have to be restricted.

“Hence, I believe the law of the land should be adhered to,” added the filmmaker, whose debut directorial “Uthrada Rathri” had an A-certificate.

Commenting on the emergence of film festivals across the country, Menon said: “The concept is good, but it should not be hijacked by people with an agenda. If that happens, then the concept of holding festivals would be lost.”

While he appreciates the proliferation of digital media for the film world, Menon stressed that a film’s success is not dependent on digital media because people come in huge numbers to theaters if a film is good.

“The success depends on the way the film is made and not whether it’s promoted through the digital media.”

About his future projects, Menon, who has introduced hugely popular actresses like Shobana, Parvathy, Karthika, Annie and Nandini, said he was soon going to don the greasepaint in the film “Oozham”.

He will act in the movie along with upcoming star Prithviraj. The film’s shooting will begin in April. (IANS)


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