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Saffron groups find Girlfriend too hot
June 14, 2004 17:56 IST
Activists of Hindu outfits on Monday forced suspension of screening of controversial film Girlfriend in Mumbai and Varanasi by staging protest demonstrations and tearing posters, triggering strong reactions from the film industry.
Nearly 100 activists of Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, student wing of Shiv Sena, tore posters and raised slogans outside a theatre in central Mumbai, forcing it to suspend the screening of the matinee show of the movie.
The theatre managers remitted the money to those who had bought tickets to watch the show.
In Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, activists of Kranti Shiv Sena, a breakway group of Shiv Sena, burnt posters and banners and tried to forcibly enter into a hall where the film was being screened, forcing the authorities to cancel the noon show.
Karan Razdan, director of the film based on the theme of lesbianism, termed the action as unfortunate and said, "How can the country run if such violence was permitted. We are not forcing people to see the movie, they are coming on their own."
"My film does not hurt any religious or spiritual sentiment. Nor is there any nudity or vulgar kissing scene. The theme is realistic and we also know there are some lesbian groups have come out in the open about the trend," Razdan claimed.
"Why don't these agitators take up issues of poverty and hunger? Why do these so-called guardians of morality not stand up for such issues?" he asked.
Coming down heavily against the protestors, noted director Mahesh Bhatt said, "What moral right do these people have to point fingers? I would be more happy if some of these organistions take up the issue of death of women due to starvation in various villages in India."
"I might find many things objectionable, that does not mean that I will tear it down or burn it," he said, adding the film has been screened after a censors' certification.
Censor Board Chief Anupam Kher said the film has been cleared after giving it an 'A' certificate and with a lot of cuts.
"Once we have issued a certificate, our job ends there. It is upto state government and the law and order machinery to ensure that the film was safely released," he said.
"However, if the city and state government feels that the screening of the film would create law and order problem, then they have every right to stop the screening of the film," he said.
Reacting to vandalism, Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy said such acts were illegal. "We will take strong action against them (protestors) and provide security to theatres screening the movie," he said.
More reports from Maharashtra
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