Saffron intolerance: VHP, Bajrang Dal attack PK screenings in Ahmedabad, Bhopal
Alleged Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activisits vandalised a theatre in Ahmedabad during protests against PK, said reports.
Alleged Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activisits vandalised theatres in Ahmedabad during protests against the Aamir Khan-starrer PK, said reports.
At least 20 members of the right-wing organisation, led by city unit chief Jwalit Mehta, targeted City Gold and Shiv theatres on Ashram Road in Ahmedabad on Monday morning and smashed ticket windows and tore off posters of the film.
Policemen from Navrangpura station along with Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-1) Virendrasinh Yadav rushed to the spot, but the attackers had fled before that, police said.
"We are yet to identify the persons behind these attacks, which took place around 10 am. We learnt that miscreants vandalised the ticket windows of both these theatres. We are now collecting CCTV footages to identify the persons," said Yadav.
However, Bajrang Dal owned up the attack and warned other theatres screening the film.
"Around 15 to 20 of our members today went to these theatres, which are screening Aamir's film 'PK'. I am warning other theatres to stop the screening, otherwise we will intensify our protest in the city in the coming days," said Mehta.
He alleged that Aamir Khan had "hurt the religious sentiments" of Hindus by making fun of Hindu gods and devotees in the film.
"If his intention was right, then why the movie did not showcase anything about his own religion? Yesterday, I called majority of theatre owners and asked them to stop the screening. But they indirectly refused," said Mehta.
In fact both the Bajrang Dal and VHP have given a 24-hour ultimatum to the film's producers to remove "anti-Hindu" scenes. "It has become a habit with Bollywood to hurt the sentiments of Hindus. They insult our gods and show our spiritual gurus as villains. Why don't they make a film based on Imam Bukhari and his anti-national statements?" VHP-Bajrang Dal spokesman for central India Devendra Rawat was quoted as saying in the Times of India.
Protests by Bajrang Dal also took place in Bhopal, where activists stopped the screening of the film in some theatres, according to Times Now.
And the Times report added that security had also been stepped up in Delhi, after after violent protests at Rivoli cinema in Connaught Place on Sunday when miscreants had smashed the theatre's window panes. However, a PVR spokesperson told the newspaper that this was an isolated incident, saying "The audience has appreciated the film and we are taking appropriate steps to ensure security."
The VHP also said on Monday that PK has several scenes that hurt religious sentiments of Hindus and has written to the information and broadcasting ministry, demanding a curb on such movies and "changing the character of the censor board".
The letter, signed by VHP spokespersons Vinod Bansal and Vijay Shankar Tiwari, referred to some scenes in the movie and said some similar movies "targeting Hindu practices" have been made in the past which have been ignored by the censor board.
"It is requested that such films are stopped and character of institutions like censor board, which approve such movies, is corrected," the letter said.
The film PK makes fun of the fanaticism that surrounds all religions in India. Aamir Khan is an alien who is looking for god so that he can ask for a 'remote' he needs to go back to his own planet. However after visiting many temples, churches and mosques he realises that it does not help. The film through this story makes a mockery of people's blind belief in organised religion and self-styled godmen.
Baba Ramdev had also spoken out against PK on Sunday. "People think a thousand times before doing anything against Christians and Muslims. But nobody thinks twice before saying anything against the Hindu dharma. This is shameful. People easily forget Hindu culture and traditions. Insulting Hindu godmen has become a hobby of the elites," said the godman.
BJP MP Yogi Adityanath also criticised the film and said that the "Censor Board ban the film or censor some parts of the film if it finds it hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus."
However, senior BJP leader LK Advani has hailed the movie as a "wonderful and courageous film". A movie buff, Advani recently watched the film directed by Rajkumar Hirani.
(With agency inputs)
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