Mumbai/Ahmedabad: Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Dilwale” and ‘Bajirao Mastani’ faced protests from activists of BJP and right wing outfits in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on the opening day of their release today with several theatres forced to cancel their screenings.
Scores of activists from the outfits like Hindu Sena and Hindu Mitra Mandal were detained in connection with their protests for separate reasons.
The protesters raised slogans like “Shah Rukh Khan murdabad” in the backdrop of his comments last month that intolerance was rising in the country amid a raging debate on the issue. The superstar has since said he does not believe there is intolerance in the country, clarifying that his earlier comments on the issue were misconstrued.
BJP activists staged protest demonstrations against “Bajirao Mastani” in Pune, forcing a multiplex cinema house to cancel all shows of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus.
They alleged that the story line of “Bajirao Mastani” has “distorted” historical facts of the era of Peshwa rule, forcing ‘Citypride’ cinema house to cancel all the shows.
The Bombay High Court, however, refused to stay the release of the Bhansali film while hearing a plea alleging that it distorted facts regarding King Bajirao Peshwa.
In Mumbai, about five activists of the Hindu Sena were detained after they tried to storm into a mall in Dadar and threatened to stall the shows of Rohit Shetty’s “Dilwale”, also starring Kajol and Varun Dhawan. However, the protesters were stopped by the policemen, deployed there in large numbers anticipating trouble.
In MP, the release of “Dilwale” was marred by protests from right wing groups in different districts, including three big cities of Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur.
The protesters tore off the posters of the film, stormed into theatres and stopped its screening at three cinema halls in Jabalpur district.
The activists also stalled the screening at two theatres in Shivpuri district and protested in front of another cinema hall there.
In Bhopal, the Hindu Mitra Mandal activists led by its chief Kapil Jadhav protested in front of Jyoti Talkies. A similar protest was staged at two cinema halls in Indore.
Hind Rashtra Sanghatan head Rajesh Shirodkar was arrested for breaching peace in Indore, police said.
In Gujarat, protests were witnessed in Ahmedabad, Surat and Mehasana after which fearing damage to their properties a couple of theatres stopped screening of the film for the day.
Posters also appeared urging people to boycott the film as a mark of protest against SRK’s comments.
The NCP condemned the protests against ‘Bajirao Mastani’, saying if the BJP has any reservations about the content of the film it should have approached the Censor Board.
“Bajirao Mastani”, a historical romance film produced and directed by Bhansali, narrates the story of the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao I and his second wife Mastani. While Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone play the eponymous roles, Priyanka will be seen in the role of Bajirao’s first wife Kashibai.