A couple of months ago, Madhuri Dixit’s Gulab Gang, made headlines, thanks to Sampat Pal, who heads a women’s group (called Gulabi Gang) in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region, against domestic abuse.
Sampat Pal alleged that the film is based on her life and her group’s work. Pal even threatened to take the 'legal route'. Now, in the latest turn of events, Gulabi Gang has asked the makers for compensation.
They also want assurance that the lead character played by Madhuri Dixit, which, according to them, is inspired by Pal, is justly portrayed.
Sampat Pal Devi of the Gulabi Gang
Jaiprakash Shivhare, the national co-ordinator for Gulabi Gang, says, “Hum saral log hai (we are simple people). We want Madhuriji and the makers to take us into confidence. At least meet us. We run a group that helps women in distress. But we are sceptical as to how all of this will be shown. Also, since all films are made with the intention of profit, it would be great if they can give us some compensation. We can help women with that money.”
Ask what if the makers don’t pay up, and she says: “Hum chhote log hain (We are common people). What can we do?”
‘There’s no question of any kind of misrepresentation’
RA.One (2011) director Anubhav Sinha, on the other fornt, says that there is no question of any kind of misrepresentation. He is the producer of Gulab Gang, and laughs off the claims.
He says, “What compensation? Who is writing the film? (Writer-director) Soumik Sen, right? So, how do the members know whether it has anything to do with them? There’s no question of any kind of misrepresentation. Also, it’s too early for anyone to talk about the film,” says Anubhav.
The film goes on floors in October.
Anubhav adds, “We intend to release the film on International Women’s Day (March 8).”
Ask him about Gulabi Gang’s apprehensions about the portrayal of the lead character and he says, “I haven’t done enough research about the gang, because it has nothing to do with them. So please don’t believe in what anyone is speculating or making assumptions about.”
Madhuri Dixit is flustered about the whole controversy, Her manager, Rikku Rakesh Nath says, "It’s news to us (the demand for compensation). Why are we getting dragged into all this? We have nothing to do with it."
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