Maharaj Controversy: Gujarat HC Halts Junaid Khan's Debut Film's Release On Netflix, Issues Notice To Makers

Maharaj Controversy: Gujarat HC Halts Junaid Khan's Debut Film's Release On Netflix, Issues Notice To Makers

Maharaj is based on the Maharaj Libel Case of 1862 in which a journalist accused one of the heads of the Vallabhacharya sect, Jadunathji Mahara, of exploiting his female devotees under the garb of religious practices

Sachin TUpdated: Friday, June 14, 2024, 09:46 AM IST
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Maharaj, the debut film of Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan, has managed to court controversy even before its release as Hindu activists accused it of hurting religious sentiments by showing a particular sect in negative light. And based on their petition, the Gujarat High Court has now stayed the release of the film on its designated OTT platform, and has also sent out notices to the makers.

For those unversed, Maharaj is based on the infamous Maharaj Libel Case of 1862 in which a journalist (played by Junaid) accused one of the heads of the Vallabhacharya sect, Jadunathji Maharaj (played by Jaideep Ahlawat) of exploiting his female devotees under the garb of religious practices.

The film was scheduled to release on Netflix on June 14, Friday, however, several followers of the Vaishnavite Pustimargi sect, who identify themselves as followers of Lord Krishna, filed a petition in the Gujarat HC on Thursday, seeking a temporary stay on Maharaj.

The petitioners claimed in their plea that the film might hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and portray Hindu leaders in an objectionable light. Taking the petition into consideration, the Gujarat HC ordered a stay on the film on Thursday until further notice.

The court also issued notices to production house Yash Raj Films, Netflix and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The next hearing of the case will be held on June 18.

Earlier this week, #BoycottNetflix trended on social media with members of several Hindu fringe groups and other netizens urged viewers to not watch Maharaj online. They accused the makers of insulting the Hindu culture and religious leaders, and sought a total ban on the film's release.

The makers are yet to issue an official statement on the stay order and backlash.

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