Adipurush filmmakers apologise...
Prabhas-starrer Adipurush has been drawing sharp criticism from several quarters for distortion of facts relating to the Ramayana.
A few days ago, Kathmandu Mayor Balen Shah raised an objection over a dialogue in the film where Sita is described as the ‘daughter of India.’ The Mayor of Dharan in eastern Nepal, Harka Sampang, called for a ban on the film, alleging that it distorts Nepal’s history and culture. Other areas including Pokhara also enforced a ban on the screening of Indian films on the basis of the controversial dialogue.
Shah subsequently called for a ban on all Indian films, beginning from Monday.
Taking stock of the situation, the film’s production house T-Series apologised to Kathmandu Mayor Balen Shah for the offending dialogue. In a letter to Mayor Shah, T-Series said the portion had been revised / corrected and added that the error was not intentional. Apologising for causing any hurt to the sentiments of the people of Nepal, the production house stressed that causing disharmony was never the intention.
“The dialogue spoken by Mr Prabhas portraying the character of Shri Raghav, has no reference to the birthplace of Sita Mata but refers to, in general, the dignity of all women, particularly the women of Bharat; Having said that, as Indians, respecting women all over the world is of utmost importance to us,” T-Series added.
The production house requested the Mayor to watch the film from an artistic perspective and support the intention of reaching out to a larger audience to create interest in the sub-continent’s history.
Meanwhile, the film’s dialogue writer Manoj Muntashir has received death threats and has requested police protection. The necessary arrangements have been made by the cops. Police teams have been deployed at Muntashir’s office in Andheri and at his residence in Goregaon.
The cops are also trying to track the IP address and identify the source of the threatening emails. Recently, the Kshatriya Karni Sena held a press conference in Madhya Pradesh where they threatened to kill Adipurush director Om Raut and Manoj.
Adipurush has also kicked off a political storm, with many leaders across the ideological spectrum objecting to the portrayal of Hanuman and certain dialogues in the film. The Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress, and the Shiv Sena have alleged that the film has hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by disrespecting the Ramayana. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankhar Kapoor has urged the I & B Ministry to re-examine the “controversial scenes and dialogues.”
While some fans and movie buffs love the film, others are demanding that it be banned. Protest meetings have been held in the Manendragarh, Chirmiri and Bharatpur districts of Chhattisgarh to ban the film. State Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said his government would consider banning the film, if the public wanted it.
Actor Arun Govil, who played the role of Lord Ram in Ramanand Sagar’s hit 1980s TV soap Ramayan has also come out against the ‘cinematic liberties’ taken by the Adipurush filmmakers in retelling the story of the Ramayana. “Why would someone touch God in this fashion?” he asked. Late director Ramanand Sagar’s son has commented that Om Raut had tried to make a ‘Marvel movie.’
Superstar Prabhas had stayed away from controversy so far. He is loved by the people of the North for his roles in the Baahubali franchise and Sahoo. But Adipurush has changed that. Twitterati are commenting that this negative publicity is causing unwanted trouble for the strapping actor.
On the flip side, Adipurush has set the cash registers ringing at the box office in terms of the openings, thanks to brand Prabhas.
It will be interesting to see how the superstar responds to the protests and criticism in the coming days. Prabhas is away from the country, but is expected to reach Hyderabad in a few days.