Indian Supreme Court lifts ban on release of Bollywood film

Deepika Padukone
Updated 18 January 2018
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Indian Supreme Court lifts ban on release of Bollywood film

NEW DELHI: India’s top court has overturned a ban imposed by several states on the release of a Bollywood epic about a mythical queen.
The Supreme Court said the ban, which followed violent protests by members of the Hindu right who claimed the film falsely depicted a romance between the queen and a Muslim ruler, violated creative freedoms.
India’s film censor board had cleared “Padmaavat” for release subject to certain changes, but at least four states said they would ban its screening.
“Cinemas are an inseparable part of right to free speech and expression,” said Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
“States... cannot issue notifications prohibiting the screening of a film.”
Harish Salve, a lawyer representing the movie’s producers, said the states “cannot ban screening to appease their political constituency.”
Such a move would “lead to constitutional breakdown,” he told The Hindu newspaper.
Last January protesters from a hard-line Hindu group attacked the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and vandalized the set during filming in Rajasthan.
The leader of the group also offered 50 million rupees ($769,000) to anyone who “beheaded” lead actress Deepika Padukone or Bhansali.
Protesters attacked another set near Mumbai in March, burning costumes and other props.
“Every story can’t be told how bullies want it,” tweeted author and screenwriter Chetan Bhagat in response to the court’s ruling.
“Artists, just as anyone else, have freedom to express in India. The states involved should respect decision and curb bullies.”


Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

Updated 33 min 31 sec ago
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Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

PARIS: The hotly hyped “British jazz invasion” has been the toast of international scenesters for some months now, with breathy adjective-heavy sprawls penned on both sides of the Atlantic paying tribute to a fresh generation of musos who grew up not in the conservatoires but the clubs, channelling the grit and groove of grime into a distinctly hip, 21st century strain of freewheeling, DIY improvised music.

Now the Arab world has its own outpost in the form of Chip Wickham, a UK-born flautist, saxophonist and producer whose second album grew out of extended stints teaching in the GCC. “Shamal Wind” takes its name from the Gulf’s primal weather patterns, and there’s a distinctly meditative, Middle Eastern vibe to the title track, a slow-burning, moody vamp, peppered with percussive trills, with hints of Yusef Lateef to be found in Wickham’s wandering woodwind musings.

There’s rather less goatee-stroking to be found across the four further up-tempo cuts, which swap soul-searching for soul-jazz, soaked in the breezy bop of a vintage Blue Note release. Recorded over a hot summer in Madrid, a heady Latin pulse drives first single, “Barrio 71” — championed by the likes of Craig Charles — with Spanish multi-percussionist David el Indio steaming up a block party beat framing Wickham’s gutsy workout on baritone sax.

Having previously worked with electronic acts, including Nightmares on Wax and Jimpster, one imagines the dancefloor was a key stimulus behind Wickham’s rhythmically dense, but harmonically spare compositional approach. Phil Wilkinson’s sheer, thumped piano chords drive the relentless nod of second single “Snake Eyes,” Wickham’s raspy flute floating somewhere overhead, readymade to be skimmed off for the anticipated remix market.

In truth, Manchester-raised Wickham is both too thoughtful, and too thoughtless, to truly belong to the London-brewed jazz invasion — Shamal Wind yo-yos between meditative meandering and soulful strutting with a wilful disrespect for trend.