Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer is doing very well at the box office across the world. In India, Oppenheimer has done better than Barbie, the only international market where this has happened.
But one of its lovemaking sequences, featuring the film's leading man Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh, has triggered an uproar.
The sequence shows Murphy reciting the Bhagavat Gita while making love to Pugh.
When the sequence came to light before the film's release, it was presumed that the eyebrow-raising moment would be snipped off without a thought.
The censors had chosen to be liberal, and it has not gone down well with a section of the Indian audience, as well as Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.
Thakur has taken a stern view of the controversial scene and demanded absolute accountability from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in response to the objectionable scene.
The minister has directed the film-makers to remove the controversial scene from the film.
He has also warned that stringent action will be taken against the CBFC members involved in approving the screening of the movie, as per sources.
Thakur expressed his displeasure over the CBFC's failure to safeguard the interests of the public, emphasising that such negligence cannot be overlooked.
Earlier, Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar, a former journalist and founder of the Save Culture Save India Foundation, had voiced his misgivings over the scene and hit out at Director Christopher Nolan.
Speaking to ANI, Mahurkar had said, "It's (the scene) an insult to Bhagavad Gita, which is our holy book. It sends out powerful and meaningful messages to the entire world. How could someone demean it this way? The scene is an assault on our values and civilisation. It's an assault on the Hindu community.
"Nolan should remove this scene from the film. It reeks of religious hatred. If he doesn't take out the scene, we will act."
He had also tweeted, 'It has come to our notice that the movie Oppenheimer contains a scene which makes a scathing attack on Hinduism. As per social media reports, a scene in the movie shows a woman making a man read Bhagwad Geeta aloud while indulging in sexual intercourse. She is seen holding a copy of the Bhagwad Geeta in one hand.
'We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene in (a film based on the) life of a scientist. But this is a direct assault on (the) religious beliefs of a billion tolerant Hindus.
'We urge, on behalf of billion Hindus and the timeless tradition of lives being transformed by revered Geeta, (the makers) to do all that is needed to uphold the dignity of our revered book and remove this scene from the film across the world. Should you choose to ignore this appeal, it would be deemed as a deliberate assault on Indian civilisation. Eagerly await needful action.'
Dr J Robert Oppenheimer, Wikipedia informs us, 'read literary works such as the Bhagavad Gita and Meghaduta in the original Sanskrit, and deeply pondered them. He later cited the Gita as one of the books that most shaped his philosophy of life. He wrote to his brother that the Gita was "very easy and quite marvelous", and called it "the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue".'
'He later gave copies of it as presents to his friends and kept a personal, worn-out copy on the bookshelf by his desk. He even nicknamed his car Garuda, the mount bird of the Hindu god Vishnu,' Wikipedia adds.
'In one conversation with David Hawkins before the war, while talking about the literature of ancient Greece, Oppenheimer remarked "I have read the Greeks; I find the Hindus deeper".'
As Wired recalled, 'As he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, a piece of Hindu scripture ran through the mind of J Robert Oppenheimer: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds".'
With inputs from ANI.