Wilson College principal says HSC board has no rules barring films being shot during exam hours. Teachers and education inspector complain to state education board seeking action
Akshay Kumar will probably wonder why he keeps making news for the wrong reasons on weekends and that too for no apparent fault of his. On Saturday the entire team of Gabbar —an under production film that stars Kumar, was pulled up by the state education department for shooting a sequence of the movie inside the premises of south Mumbai’s Wilson College at a time when some students were appearing for the Class XII board exams and many college students too were sitting for their annual examinations.
Akshay Kumar (below) shoots for his film Gabbar on the premises of Wilson College. Pics/Shadab Khan
Incidentally, exactly a week earlier the actor’s bodyguard was booked for slapping a doctor in full public view.
According to some teachers of the college who preferred to remain anonymous, the principal of Wilson College had agreed to rent out the premises for the shooting, despite the fact that the Sanskrit paper of the Higher Secondary (HSC) board exam was scheduled from 3 pm at the college. Moreveover, around 150 students from the First and Second Year Arts faculty also appeared for their exams in the morning.
A senior teacher reportedly filed a complaint to the state education board as well as at the Gamdevi
police, following which the cops stepped in.
A professor from the college alleged that the shooting started at 7 am and disturbed both college students appearing for the annual exams and the three students appearing for their board exams. College authorities, however, denied this and said the shooting had started onlyat 10 am just after the college exams ended.
College authorities admitted that the institution had rented out the premises to Kumar’s unit on Sunday as well, cancelling college level exams. “Agreed that only three students were appearing for the HSC exams today, But it is a board examination. How can the college allow a film to be shot on the premises on such a day?” said a professor.
When contacted, VJ Sirwaya, Principal of Wilson College, said, “Our college premises is spread across five acres. The shooting took place in the southern end near the basketball court. The board exam was happening in the new building, which is quite a distance away. Only three students were appearing for the HSC examination anyway. So there was no major issue. Also there is no rule that during board exam we cannot hold any event in the college. There are a few teachers whose private tuition business I have stopped so they are trying to malign the college.”
Pradeep Abhyankar, registrar of the college said, “The college exams were in the morning. The shooting started after 10 am when the exams had ended.”
However, speaking to sunday mid-day BB Chauhan, Education Inspector, South Zone, said, “It does not matter how many students were appearing for their board exams. A college cannot allow a film to be shot in the premises during this time. We will submit a report to the board and seek appropriate action.”
Laxmikant Pandey, chairman of the Mumbai Divisional Board, said, “I will ask the concerned inspector to report about the alleged activities during exams."
Several attempts to reach producer Shabina Khan went in vain as she didn’t reply to either SMS or calls.