And Now A Legal Complaint: All The Hoopla Around Anupam Kher's The Accidental Prime Minister

The Accidental Prime Minister has stirred up one controversy after another since the release of its trailer nearly a week ago.

Less than 10 days before the release of The Accidental Prime Minister, a complaint has been filed against the film. Riddled with controversy since the trailer dropped a few days ago, the film is facing its first legal complaint from advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. The complainant named actors Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna among others and cited that he felt ‘hurt’ after viewing the promos of the upcoming film. The film based on a controversial book of the same name, is written by the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media advisor, Sanjaya Baru (2004-2008).

The book generated plenty of controversy for alleging how Manmohan Singh was ‘subservient’ to the Gandhis. The book’s launch seemed to be perfectly timed during the peak fervour of the 2014 General Elections. The PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) had rejected the book’s credibility by saying it was an ‘attempt to misuse a privileged position and exploit it for commercial gains’, in spite of which the UPA’s image was further dented. There’s plenty of conjecture about the timing of the film’s release being only a few months before the 2019 General Elections, where many have even gone as far as to dismiss the film as propaganda.

If there was any doubt about the film being an NDA megaphone to harp about the ‘evil Gandhis’, then the trailer cleared them all. A parade of atrocious accents, the trailer made many question the integrity behind the film.

The film stars Anupam Kher, someone who has repeatedly stated his allegiance to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And it’s reportedly co-written by Prasoon Joshi, who was appointed as the CBFC Chief by the ruling government, after the sacking of Pahlaj Nihalani (an erstwhile Modi supporter). A frantic Anupam Kher appeared in front of the media following the criticism around the trailer, stating that he was fully convinced about the film and believed he had turned in an ‘Oscar-worthy’ performance. Even though no one had really said it, Kher was defending the film from being ‘banned’ on several news channels.

Kher had another episode where he alleged that YouTube was attempting to bury the trailer of The Accidental Prime Minster, considering how it had slid from the top position to the 50th position in the course of a day.

Speculated to be a political move right before the upcoming elections, the political party did the unthinkable by endorsing the trailer of the film through its official Twitter handle by describing it as a ‘riveting tale’. Why would a political party share a trailer of a film unless it helped them gain political mileage? That was another blow to the appropriately-timed release of the film.

The director of the film, Vijay Ratnakar Gutte was arrested in August last year for his involvement in a GST fraud worth Rs 34 crore. He was held in judicial custody till August 14.

The Accidental Prime Minister marks the return of Akshaye Khanna in the role of Sanjaya Baru, and is scheduled to release on January 11. But the hoopla around the controversial film might only have begun with this first complaint.