The Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments on Thursday announced that the Deepika Padukone-starrer Chhapaak, which is based on the life story of an acid attack survivor, will be tax-free in their respective states.
The movie is scheduled to be released on Friday.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced the decision on Twitter, posting in Hindi, “The state government has decided to make Hindi film Chhapaak tax free in Chhattisgarh. The film spreads awareness among people against heinous crimes like acid attack on women in society. You all should go to watch the movie along with your families and become aware, as well as spread the awareness.”
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the movie will serve to change the society’s outlook against such survivors because the movie not only shows their agony but also their confidence, struggle and passion.
Chhapaak ran into controversy after Padukone on Tuesday visited JNU to express solidarity with the students who were attacked by a mob on January 5, with several groups calling for a boycott of the film.
MP Leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader Gopal Bhargava slammed the actor for attending the protest. “Your job is to sing and dance… that you should do in Mumbai… why show up at political protests? If you want to enter politics, you should do it wholeheartedly,” he said.
BJP spokesman Rajneesh Agrawal questioned the Kamal Nath government’s move, saying it was dictated by politics because Padukone backed the JNU protesters. He claimed that at a time when people were calling for boycott of Chhapaak, the government was exempting it from entertainment tax.
Meanwhile, the MP Congress, which welcomed the government’s decision to exempt the film from entertainment tax, slammed Bhargava, calling his remarks tasteless.