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When Bollywood filmmakers engaged in verbal spats publicly

With Milap Zaveri launching an online tirade against Anurag Kashyap for passing 'tacky' remarks on his sex comedies, we take a look at Bollywood filmmakers who engaged in verbal spats publicly

From their film promotions and fashion choices to participation in social and political campaigns, Bollywood folk have been using social media to their advantage. It is not only an easy medium to connect with their fans, friends and colleagues, but also allows them the freedom to voice their opinions on personal as well as public issues. Unlike in traditional media, there's none to moderate their views and they don't have any guidelines to follow. Often, it becomes the go-to platform to vent one grievances, level allegations and also wage a verbal duel.

At a promotional interview for his upcoming sex comedy Hunterrr, Anurag Kashyap (right) was quoted as saying, “I don’t like Masti (directed by Milap Zaveri)... I wouldn’t watch it on cable or for free.”
At a promotional interview for his upcoming sex comedy 'Hunterrr', Anurag Kashyap (right) was quoted as saying, "I don't like 'Masti' (directed by Milap Zaveri)... I wouldn't watch it on cable or for free."

Writer-director Milap Zaveri is a case in point. He lashed out at Anurag Kashyap on Twitter for alleged comments on his sex comedies 'Masti' and 'Grand Masti'. Kashyap was quoted during a promotional interview as saying, "I don't like 'Masti', and I won't watch it also. I wouldn't watch it on cable or for free, not even if someone paid me Rs 5 crore." Milap accused Kashyap of having "double standards" as the latter's co-production 'Hunterrr' is also a sex comedy and took many digs at his films.

hitlist recalls certain incidents when filmmakers crossed swords, directly or indirectly...

Ram Gopal Varma (left) had an online spat with Karan Johar (top) after the latter’s 2010 film My Name is Khan was released
Ram Gopal Varma (left) had an online spat with Karan Johar (right) after the latter's 2010 film 'My Name is Khan' was released

With a vengeance
Ram Gopal Varma had an online spat with Karan Johar after the latter's 2010 film 'My Name is Khan' released. RGV wrote, "got a better idea... I will make 'My Name is Raavan' and Mani should make 'Raavan Ki Kurbaan' — also taking a dig at his production venture 'Kurbaan' (2009) which proved to be a BO dud. The tweet did not go down well with KJo, who replied saying: "You have an amazing sense of humour Ramu! Never shows up in your films though." Ramu was quick to make amends: "Karan, because of the constant bashing I receive, I developed my sense of humour as a defence mechanism. And talking of my films not having humour, check out the great comedy I made called 'RGV Ki Aag'."

Sanjay Gupta (left) and Kunal Kohli (right) locked horns over the originality of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Sanjay Gupta (left) and Kunal Kohli (right) locked horns over the originality of 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara'

Eventually, they made up over a few more tweets only to spar two years later. When 'Student of The Year' (2012) hit the theatres, RGV decided to irk Karan once again, posting: "If someone takes off from Karan Johar's 'Student of the Year' and makes Teacher of the year it will become the Disaster of the year." Karan also did not leave any stone unturned to criticise the maker of horror films. He said, "Disaster of the year is your territory Ramu...no one can ever replace the comfortable place you have made for yourself there."

Ritesh Batra (left) slammed the Film Federation of India (FFI) for selecting Gyan Correa’s (right) The Good Road, over his film The Lunchbox as India’s official entry to the Oscars in 2013
Ritesh Batra (left) slammed the Film Federation of India (FFI) for selecting Gyan Correa's (right) 'The Good Road', over his film 'The Lunchbox' as India's official entry to the Oscars in 2013

Matter of trust
Hansal Mehta's two films starring Rajkummar Rao — 'Shahid' and 'Citylights' — were reportedly strong contenders as India's official entry for last year's Oscars. But when Geetu Mohandas' 'Liar's Dice' featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Geetanjali Thapa made it to the nominations for best foreign language film, Mehta didn't mince words in expressing his displeasure. He said, "I want to trust the process (of selection) and the people initiating the process of India's entry into the Oscars. Unfortunately, recent history and the shroud of secrecy surrounding the selection makes me doubtful about the selection and its criteria. If 'Liar's Dice' had a legitimate wide release then I'd be happy for the film. It's a wonderful film made by some terrific people. I congratulate their team and wish them success."

I want to trust the process of India’s entry into the Oscars. Unfortunately, recent history and the shroud of secrecy surrounding the selection makes me doubtful about the selection and its criteria — Citylights director Hansal Mehta’s reaction after the FFI chose Liar’s Dice as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards last year
'Citylights' director Hansal Mehta's reaction after the FFI chose 'Liar's Dice' as India's official entry to the Academy Awards last year

To each his own
A jury meeting for an awards ceremony in 2012 turned ugly when filmmakers Sanjay Gupta and Kunal Kohli locked horns over the originality of Zoya Akhtar's 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' (ZNMD, 2011). While Kohli was all for 'ZNMD', Gupta, who is often accused of plagiarism, argued against the selection, stating that the film was a rip-off of a 1985 American film 'Fandango'. Gupta claimed Kohli had arm-twisted the jury which was set to disqualify 'ZNMD' from the list of Best Picture. Kohli had then replied: "Sanjay Gupta can say whatever he wants, but what happens within the jury will stay there. It shouldn't be spoken about in public. I am just one member and I don't know how it is possible for me to influence everyone. They all have their own opinions."

Arbaaz Khan

Spat over siblings
Anurag Kashyap and Arbaaz Khan got into a verbal war when Anurag's brother Abhinav, who rose to fame after his directorial debut 'Dabangg', was replaced in its sequel. Kashyap made a 'derogatory' comment about the film's lead star, Salman Khan. This infuriated Arbaaz, who posted, "Instead of showing gratitude, some people show attitude."

Choose me
'The Lunchbox' director Ritesh Batra slammed the Film Federation of India (FFI) for selecting Gyan Correa's Gujarati film, 'The Good Road', over his critically-acclaimed slice-of-life movie as India's official entry to the Oscars in 2013. Producers Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar also publicly criticised the decision. The three-day attack on Correa's film over the rejection of 'The Lunchbox' finally ended with a call from Kashyap to Correa. Further, the FFI also demanded an 'unconditional apology' from Batra and Kashyap for their vocal disapproval of the selection.

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