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Accidental Prime Minister: facts sacrificed at the altar of entertainment and drama?

Posted in Entertainment

Published on January 19, 2019 with No Comments

Cleared for release in Pakistan

“The Accidental Prime Minister” has been cleared for release in Pakistan with minor cuts, Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) said. The film will release in the country on January 18. “The film has been cleared with minor excisions,” CBFC chief Danyal Gilani shared with media.

When the trailer of Accidental Prime Minister was released, it did provide a glimpse of the liberties taken with the book, the question is, how does the film fare in terms of staying true to Sanjay Baru’s memoir as well as other historical facts?

“Masterstroke”. This statement, attributed to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, finds no mention in the book. There is no evidence to suggest that Vajpayee had made this remark about the Congress’ decision to pick Manmohan Singh.

The film shows  Sanjay Baru as saying, “ Yeh election Rahul ke bas ka nahin hai” (This election is not a cup of tea for Rahul Gandhi. This line, uttered by Baru’s character played by Akshaye Khanna, was said in the context of Congress’ 2009 campaign for a second term. It appears to have been written purely to play to the galleries, as it does not exist in the book.

In the film, Sonia Gandhi’s trusted aide, Ahmed Patel’s character gets considerably more screen time than his boss. As an emissary of Sonia Gandhi, the film almost always portrays him as being shrewd and scheming. There is, however, no such portrayal of him in the book.”Cycle ki handle pakadni nahin aati, media handle karenge”

While there is one mention in the book of Manmohan Singh being perceived as a liability, it is not in the manner as depicted in the film, and certainly not in the heroic way in which Baru swears to save the former PM from this slander.


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