Accordingly, Catholic groups in Maharashta have withdrawn their protest and boycott of the movie, marking a happy end to a week-long pre-release controversy dogging the movie. The latest comedy by director Priyadarshan was released Friday amidst uncertainty in view of threats of protests by Christians angry over certain scenes.
Judith Monteiro, secretary of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), said Saturday that representatives of various front-ranking groups watched the movie on opening day. 'I'm happy that the objectionable scenes have been deleted. Every religion should be treated with the respect it deserves. I hope the Censor Board will maintain caution in future while granting certification to movies,' Bishop Agnelo Gracias of the Archdoicese of Mumbai said.
'This is a victory of sorts for maintaining sensitivity while dealing with religion in the film industry,' Monteiro said. 'We have always been taken for granted just because we do no resort to violence. Hopefully, this will serve as a deterrent for future movie-makers,' she said. However, Catholic groups are still firm on their other two demands -- removal of Censor Board chief executive officer Prajakta Thakur and nomination of a permanent Christian representative for film certification.
Thanking Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni for her efforts in the matter, president of Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum Agnelo Fernandes said the Catholics still demanded the removal of Thakur as 'she appeared to represent the film industry and not the Censor Board.' The Catholics have also sought an apology from Percept Pictures and the film's producers for releasing sacrilegious promos of the movie on YouTube and other websites.