A day after a local organisation in Varanasi filed a complaint against Sunny Deol-starrer Hindi film, Mohalla Assi, district BJP MLA Ravindra Jaiswal and state spokesperson Ashok Pandey on Monday followed it up with another complaint, alleging that some contents of the film, as could be seen from the recently-released trailers, “hurt religious sentiments and showed women in poor light”.
Although the Bhelupur police station in the district confirmed receiving both the complaints, officers said they are taking “legal opinion” on whether to register an FIR or not. The BJP’s Varanasi unit, on the other hand, clarified that the complaint was the leaders’ “individual decision” and does not reflect the party’s stand.
Based on writer Kashi Nath Singh’s book, Kashi Ka Assi, the film has Deol playing the role of a Sanskrit teacher, actress Sakshi Tanwar his loud-mouth wife and Ravi Kishan a tourist guide.
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Pandey, who accompanied the BJP MLA to the police station, said: “We are clear that there was no need to depict Lord Shiva mouthing abusive language. Also, women are shown using abusive language. This is not only against our culture but is also not true to the book on which it is based. There are several themes (in the film) which are not there in the book” the BJP’s state spokesperson said.
Asked whether the party would protest against the film’s release, Pandey said “this is something which will be decided at a later stage”.
“The director of this film (Chandra Prakash Dwivedi) is currently a member of the censor board. Therefore, we want that a four-member committee is constituted and (our) objections taken into account. If these are taken care of, we have no issues with the film,” Pandey said. Jaiswal could not be reached for his comments.
District BJP president Nagendra Raghuvanshi, meanwhile, clarified that the step was taken (by the two leaders) “at their individual level”. “Neither it was discussed at the party’s forum nor are we planning to discuss it in the near future,” he said.
On Sunday, Sarvajan Jagruti Manch had lodged a complaint at the same police station, alleging that a leaked trailer of the movie was laced with cuss words, which maligned the image of Varanasi and its traditions and “hurts the religious sentiments”. Members of the organisation, along with locals, NGO workers and sadhus, also led a protest march against the movie.
Senior Superintendent of Police Jogendra Kumar said, “We received their complaint yesterday (Sunday) but we have not registered an FIR as yet. However, we are probing the matter.”
Inspector (Bhelupur), Ashutosh Ojha, too, confirmed receiving a complainant from the BJP MLA.