A movie about prostitution titled Kamathipura has got the Shiv Sena and BJP up in arms. However, their problem with the feature film is not the content but its name. Leaders of the two parties say that residents approached them, demanding that the name be changed, as they are fed up of the stigma that comes with living in Kamathipura, Mumbai’s red light district.
The Sena has put up hoardings in the area reiterating the demand of the residents, as a movie based on prostitution, and bearing the locality’s name, might imply that all its residents are involved in flesh trade. The BJP has, on the other hand, started a signature campaign.
Sena pramukh of Kamathipura Amit Patade told MiD DAY that he put up the posters after residents approached him complaining about the movie.
“We immediately put up posters and asked the people to support us. Kamathipura is not just a red-light area. Educated people live here too. Why should they face the stigma and the problem of living in a red-light district?” Patade asked.
He added that if the movie were released with that name, it would be a mockery of the residents of the area. The BJP also claimed that they were opposed to the title of the movie. A party worker said that women in the area were already facing problems over living here and the movie would only aggravate the situation.
All in the name
“The moment someone says that they live in Kamathipura, they find it difficult to get admissions in college and also to get married. Only 2 to 4 per cent of the total population indulges in prostitution and related activities. So why should Kamathipura be the name of the movie?” said Shalaka Salvi, the president of BJP Mumbai women’s wing. Salvi added that till date she had collected more than 1,500 signatures.
Incidentally, both the parties have not reached out to the movie’s director Ankush Bhatt. Salvi said that her aide had reached out to Bhatt, but he was out of the city whereas Patade said that he did not have any contact details.
Director Ankush Bhatt said he was unaware of any political opposition to the movie’s title. “My movie is not just based on prostitution, but it also talks about other things from Kamathipura. I am unaware about any protest against the movie,” said Bhatt.