Film-maker Kiran Rao’s debut film Dhobi Ghat, which stars her husband, superstar Aamir Khan and newcomer Prateek Babbar, has set a unique precedent. As seems to be the recent trend, Dhobi Ghat, too, found itself at the centre of a legal battle with a an organisation claiming that the title of the film was insensitive.
However, this time, the court not only ruled in favour of the film-maker, but also asked the accusers to pay a fine for wasting time abusing the court’s privilege.
The Hindustan Kanojia Organisation of Dhobis alleged that the title would encourage caste division. Chairman Vinod Kumar Kanojia approached the Delhi High Court, demanding a change of title before the film’s theatre release. “The film, Dhobi Ghat, could have been given some other name. The use of the word ‘Dhobi’ hurts sensibilities of a particular caste,” the petition stated.
However, the court dismissed stating that the words, Dhobi Ghat, had been used in the context of a geographical place, and not a caste. Not only that, the court also slapped a fine on Kanojia instead, asking him to pay R25,000 to a Blind Welfare Fund, as penalty for “abuse of judicial system.”
Aamir and Kiran Rao were unavailable for comment.