Pune: Managements of various multiplexes and single screen theatres suffered losses as they were forced to cancel shows after members of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its youth wing took to the streets protesting against the controversial period film Bajirao Mastani in Pune yesterday.
Members of the BJP and its youth wing protesting outside City Pride multiplex in Kothrud yesterday
The agitation started around 7.30 am outside City Pride multiplex in Kothrud and Mangala Theatre and soon spread across Pune. The agitators raised slogans outside the theatres, stating that the filmmaker had goofed up historical facts and this wrong information will change the perception about the highly revered Peshwa warrior.
Commenting on the cancellation of shows, Pushkaraj Chafekar, partner at City Pride multiplex, said, “Overall, 10 shows were cancelled. Though we incurred losses, we are concerned about those who had booked tickets in advance. So as per customers’ wishes, they either got a refund or were issued tickets for shows as per their convenience. The shows will be on from tomorrow.”
Inspector Nitin Bhosale-Patil, in-charge of Kothrud police station, said, “BJP members barged into the multiplex and demanded a complete ban on the film. This led to a scuffle between them and those who had come to watch the film, which was sorted following our intervention. Later, we called for police backup to prevent occurrence of untoward incidents inside and outside the theatre.”
BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni claimed they had informed the police about their protest seeking a ban on the film for its flawed portrayals of Bajirao, Kashi bai and Mastani.
Besides BJP, Thorale Bajirao Peshwa Pratishthan staged a protest inside Shanivar Wada. Condemning the songs Pinga and Malhari, members of the Pratishthan burnt film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s effigy.
Aniket Dahiwal (19), student
We know that events depicted in the movie lack historical accuracy. But still, we want to watch the movie for its actors and cinematography. If the Censor Board has certified it, then why is our educated youth behaving in such an aggressive manner?
A joint statement issued by Udaysinh Peshwa and Shrimant Mahendrasinh Peshwa, descendants of Bajirao, read: “We would like to clarify that neither are we part of the ongoing agitation nor are we abetting any one to execute any such activity.”