'Mausam' derailed

Sep 21, 2011, 08:45 IST | Subhash K Jha

Railway Board condemns Shahid's negligent act involving a railway crossing in the film

Railway Board condemns Shahid's negligent act involving a railway crossing in the film

Pankaj Kapoor's directorial debut Mausam is in trouble yet again. After a spate of issues delaying the film's release, yet another crisis has cropped out.

The Railway Board has now sent a strongly worded letter to its lead star Shahid Kapoor, condemning him for setting a wrong example to his fans in the movie.

The board is referring to a sequence in the film, where the actor is shown speeding with his automobile at railway crossing to avoid a speeding train.
They have now demanded a disclaimer be put at the beginning of the film, as well as a ticker condemning the unlawful act while the scene is on. All this just days before its release!

A letter (copy of which is in the possession of the writer) signed by, Executive Director, Information & Publicity, Railway Board Chandralekha Mukherjee says, " The act of not stopping before an unmanned level crossing gate when the train is in sight is clearly a punishable offence under section 161 of the Indian Railways Act.
The legal provisions notwithstanding, it is a matter of concern that such an act undertaken by Shahid Kapoor, a youth icon, may have tremendous potential of being imitated by impressionable youngsters, thus endangering their lives."

Mukherjee continues, "The Railways would like to register its protest in the matter and ask that a disclaimer be put in the feature film appropriately saying that the makers do not endorse anybody crossing unmanned level crossings with such carelessness and that such an act should not be attempted/imitated. 

A word of caution or a scroll during the scene could also be added.  The matter could also be highlighted at press briefings expressing the concern of the Railways and yourself in the matter."

Producer Sheetal Talwar, already under pressure to release the film this weekend, is obviously upset. He says, "How can we put a disclaimer at this late stage when the prints have already gone?

And what about Ra.One, where Shah Rukh Khan is seen doing all those stunts in a train? Or Bodyguard where Salman is on top of a speeding train?

Or much earlier, Aamir Khan's stunt with the speeding train in Ghulam? Were those not dangerous? As far as speeding a car across a railway crossing goes, it's the character in the film and not Shahid Kapoor breaking the law. Why blame Shahid?"

However, Talwar is willing to put out a press release stating that scene at the railway crossing could be dangerous. It remains to be seen if the Railway Board would be satisfied with his response.

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