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After Narendra Modi, Baghini: Bengal Tigress evokes Mamata Banerjee

While the filmmakers have admitted to the chief minister of Bengal being an 'inspiration', they maintain that the film is not a biopic. 

Shriram Iyengar

It seems to be the year of the biopics. With PM Narendra Modi out of the fray courtesy the Election Commission, a new film seems to have entered the converstion. The Bengali film, Baghini: Bengal Tigress seems to evoke memories of a Mamata Banerjee at her peak in its trailer. The film is directed by Nehal Dutta and is scheduled for a 3 May release.

The trailer to the film tracks the rise of a young, fearless girl who turns to politics to help the landless and oppressed farmers and labourers in Bengal. With hints of the 2008 Singur and 2007 Nandigram struggles, the film seems to echo the career path of current Bengal chief minister Banerjee.

The mention of the call to 'pariborton' (change) is also a popular slogan issued by the now chief minister during her rallies.

However, the makers have denied the film being a biopic on Banerjee. In a quote to Scroll.in, producer Pinki Paul Mandal said, "Why do we need to take names? The name is not important but the message is — that an ordinary woman with vision and grit can overcome obstacles and make something of her life."

The life of Banerjee is tracked through three stages, with Ruma Chakraborty playing the leader in the final stage. Chakraborty has played Banerjee in several stage productions and jatras across the state of West Bengal.

The film is scheduled to release on 3 May, during the ongoing voting process for the general elections. The final voting dates in West Bengal are 7 May and 12 May.

Earlier, the Election Commission declared a stay on the biopic on prime minister Narendra Modi, PM Narendra Modi by Omung Kumar B, citing that the film 'disturbs level playing field' that the model code of conduct attempts to maintain during the election.

The film ran into several issues with petitions filed in the Bombay and Delhi high courts, as well as the Supreme Court. However, the court passed on the responsibility to the Election Commission to decide on the validity of the charges that the film violates the model code of conduct.

It remains to be seen if the opposition gears up another complaint against Baghini: Bengal Tigress on the same grounds.


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