"All characters and events depicted in this film are entirely fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental." A disclaimer that we often see, hear and read at the beginning of every film that we used to watch in theatres during pre-pandemic era and now on OTT platforms. It is to remind moviegoers that a film has been made for their entertainment purpose and they shouldn't let it affect them emotionally by anything that is being depicted in it. But it seems like the sentiments of a certain section of the society have turned so fragile that they often crack like an egg at almost every thing being portrayed on the screen. The latest being, the new poster of Bhoot Police featuring Saif Ali Khan.
The makers of Bhoot Police on Tuesday revealed the character poster of Saif Ali Khan who has been introduced as Vibhooti in the horror comedy. In the poster, Saif looks like an exorcist carrying a trident with four prongs in his right hand. He is wearing a black shirt, black leather jacket and a pendant. He flaunts a beard, moustache, backbrushed hair and kohl eyes and wears a "don't mess with me" expression on his face.
However, what bothered the moral police was the presence of sadhus in the poster that resembled Aghoris. They began calling for a boycott of the film on Twitter as it allegedly hurt their religious sentiments. They questioned why the poster was showcasing sadhus and not Islamic priests without knowing the context or the plot of the film. This is not the first time that a certain section of the audience have tried to arm-twist the filmmakers to suit their narratives.
Take a look.
A couple of months ago, Amazon Prime Video, the OTT platform that aired the controversial series Tandav, issued an apology to anyone who felt insulted with the content of the series. In the statement, they have also specified that the objectionable scenes have either been either removed or edited. An FIR was also filed against Aparna Purohit, the head of India Originals at Amazon Sellers Service Pvt Ltd, and six other co-accused that said the web series has content that hurts religious sentiments of Hindus.
Similarly, Anushka Sharma produced web series Paatal Lok faced two complaints against it. One, for allegedly using BJP MLA Nandkishor Gurjar’s picture without permission, two, for showcasing communal tension and three, for showing CBI in a bad light.
Then, a case was filed against the producer of Mirzapur and Amazon Prime in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district alleging that the web series hurts religious, social and regional sentiments and damages social harmony. It was alleged that religious feelings and beliefs have been greatly hurt by this series that focuses on abusive and illicit relationships.
The makers of A Suitable Boy had found themselves in hot waters when they showed kissing scenes in a temple, thus, hurting religious sentiments of a certain section of the audience.
Then, the first season of Sacred Games grabbed all the unnecessary attention for its depiction of country's historical events such as the Bofors case, Babri Masjid case, communal riots and others. A police complaint was filed against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Sikh community by showcasing a scene that apparently disrespected the Sikh religious symbol in Sacred Games Season 2.
Looking at these incidents, one may start to believe that people are getting offended about anything and everything. This widespread outrage won't just tame the film industry but it will also discourage filmmakers to attempt bold subjects and bring it on the screen. And all that may remain to exist would be just conflicts and hatred.
So what do you choose? Love or hate - your choice matters.
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