Cometh the big-ticket Bollywood release amidst festivities (Aanand L Rai’s Zero), and cometh the fringe group who tries to hold the makers hostage by taking offence to the most banal things. We’ve seen this recently in the case of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, where fringe groups took offence to the depiction of Rajputs even without having seen the film (when in fact Bhansali’s film was mostly ‘endorsing’ the ‘shaan’ of the community!). In the case of Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, someone took offence to the depiction of Indian jails, where in one scene water is seen to be overflowing from an in-house commode. #InsertPoopFaceEmoji
It only makes sense that before Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero releases in December, a fringe group finds something to take offence to and guarantees themselves a discussion on prime time, like the Karni Sena did. Members of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara have taken the first step in this direction by filing a complaint against Shah Rukh Khan and the other makers of Zero, for the ‘incorrect depiction’ of a ‘Kirpaan’ as an ‘ordinary dagger’. It should be clarified that in the Zero poster, Shah Rukh Khan’s Bauaa Singh is shown wearing a Gatra Kirpaan, something that has apparently ‘hurt Sikh sentiments’.
There is a predictable chain of events, when vulnerable Bollywood films are threatened with ‘dire consequences’ unless they make last-minute changes to the film. More often than not, the producers bow down to the demands lest violence break out in a theatre or the business get affected because of the threats. Like in the case of Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan, some groups took offence to Abhishek Bachchan (who plays a Sikh) smoking. Producer Aanand L Rai immediately removed the two scenes that were ‘suggested cuts’ by a district court.
After all this, when the film finally releases everyone realises that there was no reason for all the hullabaloo. The fringe group quietly disappears into oblivion. With this ‘complaint’ it’s easy to foresee how the chain of events are going to play out. And honestly, it’s time to stop of playing into the hands of such groups. They belittle religion, faith and make an easy trade for some quick fame/money.