Updated: January 18, 2022 7:43:37 am
Marathi actor Kiran Mane, who was last week sacked from a popular television serial, on Monday alleged that the BJP could be behind the move as he follows an ideology disliked by the saffron party. The state BJP unit, however, said it had no hand in his removal and the party valued freedom of expression.
Last week, Mane was ousted from the Marathi television serial, ‘Mulgi Zali Ho’, being aired on a private satellite channel. Mane said he was given no reason for his removal by the production house. “I was just told that from tomorrow, I need not come for shooting…They did not give any reason for my ouster,” he said.
Mane said he suspected that his removal had a lot to do with his social media posts wherein he has been airing his political views.
“I think I was removed from the serial because of my political views. I have been trolled in abusive language for my political views,” Mane told The Indian Express. Mane played the role of the father of the lead character in the serial. “During my college days, I used to speak against the Congress and its leaders, but they never objected,” he said.
The actor said, “I follow the ideology of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar. It is clear that this ideology is not liked by some people which can be seen from the kind of abusive trolling that happens…” he said.
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Mane added, “A BJP leader from Nanded had trolled me in abusive language…Similarly, one of the serial’s actors is connected to the BJP. Her husband is a prominent leader from Mumbai. So, some BJP people are behind this…”
Mane said he speaks against all parties and does not target any particular one. “I express my views freely. The Constitution has given the right of freedom of expression. If someone does not like it or abuses me, I am capable of taking them on,” he said.
BJP state spokesperson Keshav Upadhaye said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several BJP leaders are trolled on social media…If someone wants to become big by attacking them, so be it… We respect freedom of expression. Mane’s allegations are false. No BJP leader is behind his removal. It is an issue between the channel and the actor and we have nothing to do with it,” Upadhaye said.
Upadhaye said some women actors levelled allegations of misbehaviour against Mane. “He should respond to their allegations rather than trying to drag the BJP into this unrelated controversy,” he said.
After Mane’s allegations surfaced, a few actors from the serial slammed the actor. Savita Malpekar said, “Mane has not been removed for airing his political views on social media but for his misbehaviour on the sets of the serial. He has been making objectionable comments against female actors and has been bragging that he will get the serial shut down if he is asked to quit. He has been making claims that the serial is getting TRPs because of him. One of the actors had thrice lodged complaints with the producers about Mane’s misbehaviour and his repeated taunts. And I think he has been removed on this count and not for following any ideology that he is claiming.”
Mane said that if some female actors have criticised him, then there are also actors from the serial who have praised him. “There are other female actors who have also released videos praising me and openly stating they had no problem working with me,” he said.
Suzane Ghai, producer of the serial, said, “The actor has been removed from the serial because of some behavioural issues. We had received complaints from female actors about his crass comments and his disrespectful behaviour towards them. He was warned about it but he did not change his behaviour.” Ghai added, “He has certainly not been removed for his political views as he has been going around and claiming. We replaced him due to his misbehaviour on the sets.”
Mane also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar. “I have high regard for the NCP chief and, therefore, I met him and told him everything that happened with me,” he said.
Meanwhile, the serial’s producers also denied that shooting has stopped in Gulumb village of Satara following a notice from the village sarpanch. “No, the shooting is going on… We have not stopped and nobody has asked us to do it,” Ghai said.
Sangeeta Maskar, local Zilla Parishad member, said, “The village sarpanch had issued the notice to the producers. However, the actors and the producers explained what exactly happened and, therefore, no notice was served to them.” Maskar said the issue is between the actor and the producers and the villagers have nothing to do with it.
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