By Atanu Roy
Kolkata (UNI) A few months ago, Chandra Kumar Bose who is the grand-nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose raised his finger against national award-winning director Srijit Mukherji saying that through his upcoming film ‘Gumnaami’ the director is actually trying to malign the image of Netaji. Some family members of Netaji also endorsed Chandra Bose in this matter and hosted a press conference. Then with the time this matter turns into nonetheless the clash of the titans. In an exclusive chat, Chandra Kumar Bose and Srijit Mukherji shared their views to UNI. Firstly, Chandra Kumar Bose said, “The film is a pure and simple commercial venture to make money for puja shopping by using and defaming Netaji’s name.” In reply, Srijit Mukherjee said, “My take on that is any film is a commercial venture; any book written by so many members of his family is also a commercial venture obviously. These are commercial venture as you need to use resources to do it. As the puja shopping is concerned, Chandra Babu is quite oblivious that of the scenario of the puja in the last 10 years. I think he lives in a different planet, because Srijit Mukherjee and especially when he comes with Prosenjit Chatterjee in puja time it is needless to defame or use any name to make money for puja shopping and where the defaming is concerned I think, those family members are defaming the legacy of Netaji by wilfully keeping all discussion and debates about Netaji away from the public gaze for their own personal and political benefits. So, I think it’s high time that ‘Gumnaami’ sparks raise the questions.” Secondly, Chandra Bose alleged Srijit saying, “Earlier Srijit said that he is making a film based on ‘Conundrum’ but now he is aware that the book is not authentic. Now he is trying to hide his face behind the ‘Mukherjee Commission Hearing’, whereas Justice Mukherjee himself clearly said that the handwriting of Gumnaami Baba is not identical with Netaji.”
Srijit overruled his objection with the statement, “Yes, it’s true that I initially thought and said that I will base it on Conundrum, a book by Anuj Dhar and Chandrachur Ghosh. But after I started reading the subject then I realise that if I want to make authentic, neutral and an unbiased film on Netaji then I need to consult all perspectives. Then I think of basing it on a neutral platform and which is Mukherjee Commission. It’s not hiding face but it is called sensible and logical thinking. But if Mr Chandra Bose has not the proper understanding of sensibility and logic then he can consult a dictionary for the meanings. And those three theories mentioned in the report, I am showing each of the three theories. And in the film when I am showing the plane crash then I am referring the books supported the plane crash theory; and the same way for death in Russia theory and Gumnaami Baba theory.”
“As now the way I am explaining is like I am talking to a child. In the Mukherjee Commission Report, it is mentioned that as the absence of clinching evidence we cannot say that Gumnaami Baba was Netaji and I have reported that in the film. What Mukherjee Commission actually said, I know it better than Chandra Bose. I quoted Mukherjee Commission verbatim in my film. It is not hiding any part of the body; it is actually sticking to a dependable structure. As a filmmaker, I have the liberty to choose my source whether I want to base my film on a particular book or on a particular Commission which discusses all three theories and I have chosen the latter and it is absolutely my prerogative to do so and no one can interfere in a storyteller’s domain,” he said. Thirdly, Chandra Bose again shouted, “Mukherjee Commission Report has been cancelled so why he is making a film on that report? Is he trying to mislead public?” Srijit Mukherji clarifies himself again stating, “I am showing that also that Mukherjee Commission report has been cancelled, in fact, one of the biggest questions which have come up that why have been the Mukherjee Commission report was cancelled without giving any proper reason? This is the most pertinent question the film will raise more than the three theories that why the Mukherjee Commission Report has been negated by government without any proper reason?” Finally, Chandra Bose slams Mukherji by saying, “Either Srijit is an unintelligent fellow who has been fooled by Anuj Dhar and especially by Chandrachur Ghosh or he is a liar.” In his reply, Srijit also slams Bose saying, “If there is any NOTA option then I could have chosen that. I neither am unintelligent nor am I a liar. I will rather say that I started writing a film on a book but when I started writing screenplay I also based that on a Report. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which represents the Government of India have already given me the Uncut ‘U’ certificate. So is he trying to say that the CBFC also is an unintelligent body and has been fooled by Anuj and Chandrachur or is CBFC also is a liar? I also have a collection of tweets by Mr Chandra Kumar Bose from 2013 to 2019 that will answer who is practising lie.” Srijit Mukherji directorial ‘Gumnaami’ is all set to hit the screen on October 2 this year featuring Prosenjit Chatterjee as the lead.