New Delhi, Jun 19 (PTI) “Adipurush”, a lavish multilingual retelling of the Ramayana, was at the centre of protests in several cities on Monday and led to a ban on all Hindi films in Nepal with Union minister Anurag Thakur stepping in to say that nobody has the right to hurt the sentiments of people.
As the row over the film escalated and audiences in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi took to the streets, Mumbai Police agreed to give security to dialogue writer Manoj Muntashir Shukla on his request.
The film, directed by Om Raut and fronted by Prabhas and Kriti Sanon, has come under attack for its dialogue, colloquial language and representation of some characters from the much-loved mythological epic.
In Nepal as well, “Adipurush” provoked ire over its dialogues, but particularly for its mention of Sita as “India’s daughter”. Screening of “Adipurush” and all other Hindi films has been banned in the country until the film’s team makes desired changes.
In Mumbai, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Thakur said the film’s writer and director have agreed to make some changes after the nationwide uproar.
“Nobody has the right to hurt the sentiments of others. The CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) has taken a decision over the issue. It is their job,” Thakur told reporters when asked about his views and the central government’s stand over the controversial film.
“Adipurush”, which was released across the country in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil on Friday, stars Prabhas as Raghav (Ram), Kriti Sanon as Janaki (Sita) and Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh (Raavan).
According to production banner T-Series, it has grossed Rs 340 crore in three days at the global box office.
Different parts of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and the national capital witnessed protests against the film on Monday.
While seers in Ayodhya demanded an immediate ban on the film saying its dialogues made their “blood boil”, in Varanasi, a group of people staged a protest and tore posters of the Om Raut-directed film. A Hindu outfit also staged a protest outside a theatre in the temple town of Mathura.
A police complaint was lodged by the Hindu Mahasabha with the Lucknow police against the film’s makers and actors. A case is yet to be registered in this connection, police said.
Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, said, “The film’s dialogues make our blood boil. The film should be banned immediately. The government should ensure that this does not happen again.”
In Mathura, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha activists staged a protest outside a cinema in the Govind Nagar police station area and raised slogans against the film.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party joined the chorus against the film and said the faithful are hurt by its “cheap and superficial dialogues”.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said the censor board should check the “political character certificate” of those who play with the faith of people by making films with an agenda using the money of their political masters.
“Has the Censor Board become Dhritarashtra?” he asked in a tweet. Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kauravas, was a blind king in the epic Mahabharata.
Another Samajwadi Party leader, Shivpal Yadav, alleged that efforts are being made to belittle the great and inspiring character of Lord Ram and his story through cinema with “cheap and superficial dialogues”.
A group of people disrupted the film’s screening in a mall in Nalasopara in Maharashtra’s Palghar district. According to a police official, the protesters claimed they belong to a group called Rashtra Pratham.
The protesters shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and asked people to boycott the film, he said.
In Delhi’s Shahdara area, some people were seen raising slogans outside a movie theatre, a senior police official said.
“There were some people raising slogans outside a movie theatre in east Delhi’s Shahdara area. However, the show is underway without any interruption,” the official said.
As protests intensified, the film’s writer has been provided security by the Mumbai Police after he cited a threat to his life, an official said on Monday.
“We have received an application from Manoj Shukla and we are considering providing him security following a threat to his life,” the official said.
On Sunday, Shukla announced that the makers have decided to “revise some of the dialogues” in the Hindi version and the amended lines will be added to the movie by this week.
Later, T-Series said the team has decided to make alterations to the dialogues of “Adipurush” in order to value “the input of the public”.