A delegation of multiplex owners in Gujarat met Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi on Wednesday and sought protection for theaters to screen the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan– the lead film ‘Pathaan’ which faces opposition from right-wing groups in certain scenes. Multiplex Association of Gujarat (MAG) president Manubhai Patel said during the meeting that the minister had assured his representatives to protect multiplexes from groups threatening cinema screens over the release of the film. Representatives of the association met Sanghavi in Gandhinagar a week before the release of the film and expressed concern over threats received from various groups warning them against screening the film in which they also play the lead. Deepika Padukone.
Meanwhile, the Bajrang Dal said it was firm on its decision not to release the film in Gujarat as a song in the film “insults” the Hindu religion.
Khan and his film ‘Pathaan’ are facing backlash for showing Padukone in a saffron bikini in the song ‘Besharam Rang’. “The home minister has assured theaters protection from the elements to threaten cinema screens ahead of the release of ‘Pathaan’. There are more than 50 multiplexes in Gujarat and almost all of them will release the film on January 25,” Patel said.
Neeraj Ahuja, managing director of the Ahmedabad-based widescreen multiplex, who was part of the delegation, said Sanghavi had issued instructions to the police regarding full protection of multiplexes screening the film and strict action against those who protest and create ruckus.
In a letter sent to the Sanghavi earlier, the association said that the proper forum for anyone who has reservations or objections to the film is to approach either the official authorities, the Government of India or the courts as the film has received clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification. . There are many groups who are “illegally targeting cinema projectors based on their own understanding and agenda,” the letter said, while seeking the minister’s intervention and support for the smooth release of the much-awaited Bollywood film.
North Gujarat Bajrang Dal president Jwalit Mehta said the use of the word “Besharm” in a song in the film was an “insult” to the Hindu community. “The Hindu community has expressed its anger over the song (Besharam Rang). It has become fashionable in Bollywood to promote films by insulting the Hindu religion. So this time Bajrang Dal will not forgive anyone and will not allow anyone to release the film,” he warned. will affect school girls and those who live alone and go to study,” he said in a video statement.
The film created controversy immediately after the release of the song ‘Besharam Rang’ featuring Khan and Padukone last month. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narrottam Mishra then protested Padukone’s outfit in the song and called for a fix. Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) spokesperson Vinod Bansal also objected to the actor’s saffron attire and some scenes in the controversial song and demanded an immediate remedy. The Madhya Pradesh Ulema Board sought a ban on the film for “misrepresenting Islam”.