The past weekend saw the release of Manmarziyaan starring Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal. Despite a strong cast and being helmed by Anurag Kashyap the film failed to deliver at the box office and minted Rs 16.43 crores. And if that wasn’t enough, the film has got itself in trouble for hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
As per the reports of the leading daily, the Sikh community is planning to file an FIR against the actors and the makers of Manmarziyaan. According to Ambala’s Sikh Sangat, a couple of scenes in Manmarziyaan where Taapsee Pannu and Abhishek Bachchan, who play Sikhs, are seen smoking cigarettes and in a scene, Abhishek is seen removing his turban in an objectionable way. The Sikh Sangat said also went on record to say how the film attacks Sikh identity.
Countering the controversy, Anurag Kashyap recently posted his side on Twitter. In the statement, he says, “I am not in India and I have been reading about the Sikh community feeling offended by the smoking scene. This film is not commenting on a community, it talks about individuals and their choices. Every step of the way, we asked for guidance from Sikh people for the film. When we shot the sequence in Gurudwara, we were told we can’t shoot them getting married as it can’t be faked so me made the actors do only “Mattha tekna.” When we were shooting scenes , no member of crew was allowed to smoke inside the houses . When we shot the smoking scene, it was shot on the street and there were close to 150 people watching the shoot. We asked before doing the scene and were told that he has to take the Turban off before he smokes away from his house. We were also shown how Robbie should take the turban off with both hands and how he should hand it over and how the cousin should take it.”
He further added, “Most of the 150 people in the crowd were sikhs and we were told that’s how it is. We created what we saw with our own eyes and after discussion. It was never the intention to hurt the community and why would we do that when we got so much love from them. The city of Amritsar opened their hearts and doors to us and everything was done with utmost care. Not a single thing was shot without guidance. We wanted to show things the way they are. No religion teaches crime or anything anti-humanity, yet those things happen. It doesn’t mean they are offending the religion. Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion. I am sorry if anyone feels genuinely hurt but I would also request that please don’t make this unnecessary political because it’s not. I have always put out things the way they are without an agenda. Technology does not allow us to cut a scene and it affects the story telling. So I definitely cannot do that now.To those whose hurt is genuine, I offer a genuine apology, that wasn’t my intention. And for those who are doing it for attention, I am glad you have got the attention.”
Meanwhile, the community is also planning to stage a protest outside theatres. As per the latest developments, the issue has been taken to the city magistrate and Ambala Police Station under the leadership of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee member Harpal Singh Pali and Ambala City Youth Akali Dal President Charan Singh Takkar.