Jaya Biswas (BOMBAY TIMES; July 3, 2017)

On June 29, the District Judge, Alipore Court passed an order restricting Maddock Films and others from releasing their film, Hindi Medium “on any other format or electronic format including CDs, DVDs, television, internet till July 28“. Ever since the film's trailer released, it was speculated that its theme is similar to a Bengali film, titled Ramdhanu (2014). The latter's directors, Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, who were caught up with the release of their movie, Posto around the same time as Hindi Medium, moved court in the last week of June seeking an injunction on the Irrfan-Saba Qamar starrer.

Ramdhanu was about complex emotions that parents go through while trying to get their child admitted to a reputed school. After the child fails the admission test, parents go through training in language and behaviour to aid the admission process. Hindi Medium, a satire on the education system, apparently had similarities with Ramdhanu.

Atanu Raychaudhuri, the presenter of Ramdhanu and a lawyer himself, who moved court along with Debnath Ghosh on behalf of the director duo's production house, says, “A substantial portion of Ramdhanu has been copied by Hindi Medium. After we noticed them, we were left with no option but to move court. And the court has passed an ex-parte interim order.“

Shiboprosad says, “We watched Hindi Medium at least a month after it was released. The court order is a victory for original content.“ Nandita added that plagiarism has to be fought at any cost. “Unlawful copies do a lot of damage to regional film industries. It's time we put an end to such malpractices,“ she added.

Hindi Medium's director, Saket Chaudhary maintains, “I've no clue about the injunction. If anything like that happens, the producers will deal with it. However, my only question to the Ramdhanu team is, why now? Hindi Medium has been appreciated all over. Why did they keep mum when the trailer was launched? I have seen Ramdhanu in bits and pieces. I didn't find any similarities, except for two things - school and admission. There's nothing remotely common between the two films. And I stand by my statement.“

Producer Dinesh Vijan says, “I haven't seen the Bengali film and with due respect to someone else's work, until now I hadn't even heard about it. So going by the plot and summary, which I have just read, I'm confident of the originality of our film. I am more than happy to go through legal channels to prove this.“
Court passes injunction against Irrfan-starrer film 'Hindi Medium' after Bengali filmmakers claim copyright infringement, six weeks after release
Bharati Dubey (MID-DAY; July 3, 2017)

While Hindi Medium was applauded for its satirical take on the Indian education system, the Irrfan-starrer did not come without its share of trouble. Soon after the launch of the film's trailer, Bengali filmmaker Shiboprosad Mukherjee claimed the movie was lifted from his 2014 drama, Ramdhanu. In the latest development, the makers of Ramdhanu have moved court seeking an injunction against the Saket Chaudhary-directed film. The district judge of Alipore has issued a restraining order against the release of Hindi Medium on any platform, including television.

Highlighting the reason behind staying mum for so long, Mukherjee, one of the directors of Ramdhanu, tells mid-day, "Our film Posto was releasing at the same time as Hindi Medium, so our primary focus was to ensure a smooth release for our project. We finally watched Hindi Medium three weeks after its release and found striking similarities with Ramdhanu. It is then that we decided to move court."

Ramdhanu narrates the story of a couple going to extreme lengths to get their son admitted to a reputed school. The makers have claimed copyright infringement against Hindi Medium, citing that there has been substantial reproduction in terms of the storyline.

Dinesh Vijan, who has co-produced Hindi Medium, says that he hasn't seen the Bengali film in question. "Going by the plot and summary of the film that I just read, I'm confident of the originality of Hindi Medium," he says, before adding, "I will be happy to go through legal channels to prove this and I hope this furore isn't owing to the success of Hindi Medium."

Producer Bhushan Kumar says, "We haven't received the order from the court. Once we do, we will be challenging it."