SC orders revisions in novels, movie script offensive to Badis

Published On: March 5, 2019 05:59 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, March 4: The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered authors and script writers to be careful in the choice of words in their work.

Issuing a directive on Wednesday, the apex court ordered writers not to hurt the sentiments of any caste, religion or community in their literary work or cinema scripts. The order has come in response to an application filed at the court. The application challenged the content of two novels—Nathiya and Ailani -- and the movie Pandit Bajeko Lauri. These works had courted some controversy.

The court order was issued by a division bench of Justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Bam Kumar Shrestha .

The court application was filed by Mina Nepali, who claimed that the plots of the two novels and the movie hurt the sentiments of the Badi community and undermined their social status in the changed context.

The plaintiff had named the Office of the Prime Minister, the National Human Rights Commission, National Dalit Commission and novelist Sarswati Pratikshya as defendants.

Responding to the application, the SC ordered the writers to revise their text or script in the next editions. Court officials say it will take time to produce the full and final ruling.

The officials said the order was aimed at preventing inequalities among castes and communities. As per the order, Pratikshya, the author of Nathiya, and Bibek Ojha, who wrote Ailani, will have to remove the offending wordings in their works.

Applicant Nepali has claimed that some of the language used in Nathiya has hurt the sentiments of the Badi community, institutionalized discrimination and undermined their social status.

According to her, Ailaini (land not unspoken for) has portrayed the bodies of Badi women as such land that can be used by anyone who pleases. The cinema has created confusion about some historical aspects of their community. She has claimed that these works fly in the face of the legal equality that everyone is entitled to.

Badi community leaders have welcomed the court order. “I have not yet gone through the text of the court order. Since the application was not rejected and the court has issued an order I take it as positive ,” said Keshav Badi, president of National Badi Council. “I welcome the order.”

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