What really happened during the Kapoor family's Ganpati visarjan procession?
RK Studios in Chembur, Mumbai, has been home to the Kapoor family legacy — and a very famous Ganpati that residents in the area and elsewhere flock to see — for several decades now.
And it has been a family tradition for the men in the Kapoor family — Rishi, Randhir, Ranbir et al — to do the visarjan on the final day of the Ganesh festival in the city. It is a time for fans and supporters of the family to see them in the flesh and walk along with them in the procession.
But on Thursday, 15 September, things went awry.
Videos emerged of Randhir and Rishi Kapoor seemingly slapping away people in their path as they spearheaded the RK Studio Ganpati visarjan procession on the city roads, through the heavy downpour that lasted most of the day.
The visuals of the fracas went viral on social media with several questioning Rishi Kapoor on whether hitting over-eager fans was the spirit of the festival.
This was shared by a Mumbai Mirror journalist on Twitter:
— Sanyukta Iyer (@Sanyukta_Mirror) September 15, 2016
The Indian Express reported that the chaos worsened when Ranbir began playing the cymbals for the aarti, and camerapersons tried to push in for a closer look.
However, Rishi Kapoor finally responded to the allegations in an interview with Pinkvilla.
He has said that the situation had gotten out of hand, with the less-than-optimal weather conditions and the crowds and he was merely trying to 'police' the procession.
As for Ranbir, Rishi asserted that his son had not been involved in the fisticuffs in any way.
"We do this Ganpati not for publicity but have been doing it for the past 64 yrs. My grandfather started this tradition. There have always been thousands and thousands of people coming to see this Ganpati of RK. They came to see Ganpati, not us," Rishi Kapoor told Pinkvilla, adding, "Because Ranbir was also there everybody got so excited. I don't blame them, but they misbehaved with me. If I have indeed slapped them why don't you show the clip of me slapping? I was behaving like the Mumbai police, trying to monitor the situation. They have misinterpreted it...They say Ranbir hit them, Ranbir would not hit a fly, how would he hit them?"