//Gujarat 'bans' new Bollywood film

Gujarat 'bans' new Bollywood film

BBC News, Saturday, 27 May 2006

BJP activists say the dam project will help regional development
Cinema owners in Gujarat have refused to show Bollywood actor Aamir Khan's latest film, fearing protests about Khan's criticism of a big dam project.

Fanaa, a film about a romance between a blind girl and a tour guide opened across India on Friday.

The youth arm of the state's ruling party, the BJP, has led protests and asked Khan to withdraw his comments.

Khan had called on the government to adequately compensate people displaced by construction of the Narmada dam.

He has refused to withdraw his comments.

The latest protests against the dam followed a decision to raise its height from 110 to 112 metres.

Aamir Khan added his voice to calls for a halt to construction after Indian environmentalist Medha Patkar launched a hunger strike in April.

Court ruling

The Save Narmada Movement says the state government has failed to provide adequate rehabilitation of the 35,000 people whose villages will be submerged when the dam is constructed.

They asked the courts to halt construction, but earlier this month India's Supreme Court refused to stop the heightening of the dam.

The Sardar Sarovar dam project was initiated by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in the 1950s. But it has run into long delays, legal disputes and protests.