The day has finally arrived for a box office face-off between Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani. But things are not going as planned for two of Bollywood’s biggest releases this year.
The SRK-Kajol starrer Dilwale has faced opposition from Indian right-wing political party BJP’s youth wing — Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). A group of BJYM activists protested outside several multiplexes in Jabalpur and Pune, causing the opening shows to be cancelled, reports The Hindustan Times. This was in opposition to Shah Rukh Khan’s recent controversy regarding his comment on the growing intolerance in India.
Activists burnt the film’s posters and chanted slogans against the Shah Rukh while police was deployed to bring the situation under control.
“Those who talk of intolerance in India and leaving the country should go live in Pakistan. Why should we watch their movie? And Shah Rukh’s apology on his statement didn’t sound (like it was) a true apology, he sounded arrogant,” Hindustan Times quoted BJYM leader Sonu Bachhani as saying.
Another film caught under fire is Ranveer, Deepika and Priyanka starrer Bajirao Mastani. The movie has faced backlash for distorting facts.
A Pune multiplex was forced to cancel five scheduled shows of the new Bollywood release following a vociferous protest by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists Friday morning.
At least 200 party workers raised slogans and protested the screening of the film which has been directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
“The filmmakers have completely distorted historical facts of the Peshwa era of the early 1700s and have actually portrayed Peshwa Bajirao in an insulting manner. The people of Maharashtra worship the Peshwas so we cannot tolerate what is being depicted in this film,” a BJP activist told IANS.
He added that Peshwa Bajirao I is a highly revered historical figure who helped spread Chhatrapati Shivaji’s empire to other parts of India and didn’t have time to fool around as portrayed in the film.
“He never had the time to fiddle with his hair locks (choti) and dance in public as shown in the film… Similarly, the depiction of his wife Kashibai portrayed by actress Priyanka is also in poor taste as the royalty never behaved in such fashion those days,” he said.
A few weeks ago in Mumbai, descendants of the Peshwas had also raised objections to certain elements depicted in the film and wanted the director to make relevant changes.