Daily life has been affected in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra as a result of a state-wide bandh called by Dalit groups in protest against the violent clashes that broke out during the Bhima Koregaon battle anniversary on January 1. And as the common man’s life got disrupted, so did the business in Bollywood.
Meri Hanikarak Biwi is not shooting because of riots at Goregaon Future Studio. A lot of shoots were stopped at Killick Nixon Studios too. The actors of TV show Kasam have returned home too. Work on the sets of Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai was also stalled at Naigaon. The team of TV show Haasil team has also cancelled the shoot.
Kasam actor Pranitaa Pandit told indianexpress.com, “I woke up to a bright morning and headed to the studios. With no clear confirmation of the bandh. I left as usual for my morning shift to Killick Nixon Studios at Andheri. A few hours into the shoot and we were mobbed by a gang of unruly guys who screamed and entered the sets and literally forced closure of the shoot and sets. Frightened and paranoid we rushed to the vanity. It’s hours since we are literally under house arrest in our vanity and they continue to destroy and break whatever in sight – cars, scooters, shooting props etc. How long will this ruthless and senseless behavior last? Is there no one who can mediate and halt this scary scenario? Feels like we are waiting to be massacred… There is unnecessary cold-blooded violence in a city that woke up to a new dawn.”
Indianexpress.com also spoke to multiple and single screen owners who accepted that the protestors not just shut down the roads but also theaters and malls leading to a big dent in the business at the very beginning of the year. Rajendra Singh of Inox Cinemas, disappointed with the current scenario, said, “When you have two successfully running films like Tiger Zinda Hai and Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle in the theater, its great business for not just theaters but the industry at large. But yesterday out of fear people did not land in theaters and today the protestors at various parts of Mumbai have shut the theaters. So obviously it’s not great for any of us.”
Another official from a multiplex chain on condition of anonymity told Indianexpress.com, “The kind of atmosphere of fear and negativity is not good for any business. We had a show on and the protestors rushed in and shut the theater. We just saw the mess created while Padmavati row was on and now this it’s just not great for our business which is to entertain people.”
Gaeity, Galaxy owner Manoj Desai too was perturbed with the situation in Mumbai. “It’s very sad that a promising year begins with a sad situation of violence and fear amongst people. Business is definitely affected as the footfalls are zero and that too for a Salman starrer film that has been having a great run at the theaters. I hope that the government takes some quick steps to ensure safety and normalcy in the city soon,” said Manoj.
Ishq Mein Marjawan actor Arjun Bijlani, tweeted, “Pl call off this #MaharashtraBandh mumbai .my wife and child r flying back from goa to Mumbai .and I’m feeling unsafe In a city where I was born And brought up.my staff hasn’t come bec they r feeling unsafe to step out.@MumbaiPolice”
Pl call off this #MaharashtraBandh mumbai .my wife and child r flying back from goa to Mumbai .and I’m feeling unsafe In a city where I was born And brought up.my staff hasn’t come bec they r feeling unsafe to step out.@MumbaiPolice
— Arjun Bijlani (@Thearjunbijlani) January 3, 2018
While theaters have been affected so has the shoots and events that were scheduled for upcoming films. The shoot of top TV soap Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai’s shoot has been cancelled at the regular spot at Filmcity. In fact, many shows that are shot on the outskirts of Virar have also been called off. There have been continuous protests near Filmcity making it difficult for those who want to carry on with work difficult. Though security has been tightened at all possible spots, the protestors are all over the city. Offices are being forcefully shut down including some music channels and entertainment offices.
The song launch of upcoming film Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety that was scheduled for today was cancelled due to the ongoing protests. Another event for Bollywood film My Birthday Song, which was to be held at the Facebook office in Mumbai, had to be cancelled. We just hope that the problem is resolved today and life can get back to normalcy as soon as possible.