Aligarh Trailer : Scary and thought-provoking

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are of the writer’s relevance to Indian censor board and doesn’t intend to promote it in the country, writer currently resides in. 


Manoj Bajpayee as Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras (Aligarh)

I haven’t written a blog on a film trailer before.

This time, I am compelled to write and I feel honoured todo so.

It’s ironical to see an Indian film, after receiving standing ovations in numerous film festivals overseas, being seen as a ‘threat’ to the moral custodian of society back in the home country because it deals with the theme of LGBTQ.

The trailer of Aligarh, that got recently launched, met with an exceptionally positive response and are set to release it on 26th Feb, 2016. The happiness, however, has got shortlived as the trailer has been certified ‘Adult’ and will only be playing on TV late night, limiting the reach to the larger audience across India, much to the displeasure of the makers.

This decision reveals the hypocrisy of Pahlaj Nihalani and other CBFC members, who had no apprehension giving clean chit to the trailers of sex comedies that were not only suggestive but also too sexual to make it’s way to television that holds more chances of young children watching it.

The film, directed by Hansal Mehta and written edited by Apurva Asrani, is based on the life of late professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras (played by Manoj Bajpayee) of AMU, who got suspended and sacked from the position of Reader and Chair of Modern Indian language on the ground of Section 377, as a result of sting operation conducted on him, by the college authority, while making out with an rickshaw puller behind his four wall of bedroom.

I am definitely disappointed, rather fumed by this move by censor board because the film, not even once, convey the subject through any sexual prevalence, instead is alluded into dialogues esp. the opening monologue ‘koi mere feelings ko teen aksharon mein kaise samaj sakte hai‘, clearly establishing the emotional adversity of the protagonist, questioning us who gives us the right to intrude someone’s privacy and make a mockery out of it?

The trailer was amazing and I am in awe of Manoj Bajpayee, his eyes convey loneliness, despair with aching vulnerability. Such is the power of his sensitive performance in a trailer, I am wondering what would be our state when we see the entire film in the silence of dark auditorium.

There is no doubt that Aligarh will meet with great response in India next month, this can be possible when larger audience in the country are exposed to it and it heavily depends on word-of-mouth. Keep sharing the trailer and help Aligarh gain not just critical acclaim but also raise awareness amongst the youth, that can play a catalyst in scrapping the archaic Section 377 of Indian Penal Code that has destroyed lives of many Siras.

Nived Nambiar