Right-wing activists mostly belonging to on Monday intensified protest against Aamir Khan-starrer PK for “hurting” Hindu sentiments as they went on a rampage in Ahmedabad and Agra, attacking the theatres screening the movie, besides holding demonstrations in several other cities demanding a ban on it.
Wielding batons and iron rods, around 25 Bajrang Dal activists vandalised two movie theatres at Ashram Road in Ahmedabad and tore posters of the movie at Shree Talkies in Agra. The members of the outfit also tore posters of PK in Bhopal outside Jyoti Talkies. Protests against Rajkumar Hirani-directed film were also held in Jammu, Mau, Rajkot, Nadiad and Surendranagar. A theatre in Mumbai -Deepak Talkies – has already stopped screening of the film.
The two movie halls in Ahmedabad — Shiv and City Gold — that were screening the movie were targeted by the Bajrang Dal activists during the morning show. The police said the activists, shouting slogans of Jai Shree Ram, broke glasses of the ticket window, seats and a few vehicles at the parking lots.
DCP Zone-I Virendra Yadav said, “We have collected the mobile footage of the incident from the spot which is being analysed to identify the miscreants. We are probing it in detail.” Even as the police did not name Bajrang Dal for the incident, the right-wing organisation claimed its responsibility and warned of similar protests in coming days if theatre owners did not obey their command.
“Around 15 to 20 of our members today went to these theatres, which are screening Aamir’s movie pk. I am warning other theatres to stop the screening, otherwise, we will intensify our protest in the city in coming days,” said city Bajrang Dal chief Jwalit Mehta, who led the attack.
Alleging that the Aamir-starrer had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by making “fun” of their gods and devotees, Mehta said he had called up theatre owners in the city on Sunday and asked them to stop its screening. “If his (Aamir’s) intention was right, they why the movie didn’t show anything about his own religion Islam? Why only Hindu gods are depicted in bad light?” Mehta asked.
The versatile actor has already trashed accusations of him having “insulted” the Hindu religion because he was a Muslim, saying, “We respect all religions. All my Hindu friends have seen the film and they have not felt the same”.
“Even Raju (Hirani) is Hindu, so is Vinod (Chopra) and so is Abhijat (Joshi). In fact 99 per cent of the crew was Hindu. No one would have done such a thing,” the actor said, referring to the director, producer and the scriptwriter of the film. Censor Board chief Leela Samson, reacting to the stir, said she believed that the protests against the film are allegedly being instigated.
Those attacking our values up to some ‘mischief’: Sri Sri
Even as Aamir Khan-starrer PK has become one of the top-grossers of the Bollywood with its box-office collections crossing Rs 200 crore in just nine days, controversy over the movie intensified on Monday with Dwarakapeeth Shankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati and Baba Ramdev joining the protest and demanding the movie’s ban.
In an Art of Living video, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, while answering a question regarding the significance of idol-worship in the context of what was shown in pk, said: “People who systematically attack values of this country are up to some mischief.” Condemning generalisation of any sort, he said, “You can’t say all temple are looting money or all ashrams are bad.”
Taking a dig at the film personalities, he added: “Each of these actors take home crores of rupees by merely sneezing in front of the camera. And they spend the money in drinking, partying and drugs. Their lives are miserable and behaviour immoral and unethical.” Interestingly, pk in its credit roll thanks Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for let them shooting at his ashram.