Even as Raj Thackeray said Chitrapat Sena’s appeal to boycott Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film, Dilwale, was not the official stand of his party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the leader was scathing in his attack on the actor.
“Shah Rukh Khan donated Rs 1 crore for people who have been affected by Chennai (floods) tragedy. But he has forgotten drought-hit farmers of Maharashtra. This has been condemned by the Chitrapat Sena. What it (Chitrapat Sena) is saying is right. Coming to Maharashtra, becoming big, earning a name for yourself and then forgetting the state is not right. He (Shah Rukh) should understand this. Nevertheless, I want to make it clear that Chitrapat Sena’s stand of boycotting the film is not an official stand of the party.”
Alleging that Shah Rukh Khan had ‘ignored the plight of farmers reeling under drought’, the MNS-affiliated Chitrapat Karmachari Sena on Monday appealed to people to boycott his upcoming film Dilwale . The film is slated to hit theatres on December 18. “Farmers in Maharashtra, specially in Marathwada, are reeling under drought. SRK , who has been residing in the state and has made a lot of money, has not helped farmers in distress. When his help is needed, he isn’t forthcoming,” MNS Chitrapat Karmachari Sena chief Amey Khopkar said.
Reacting to the development, the 50-year-old star Shah Rukh said, “Before the film’s release it’s better if you ask me questions about the film, because we have been so caught up with work, we don’t understand other things. But God willing, everything good will happen with our film.”
Asked if MNS will seek a ban on the film, he said, “We are not seeking a ban. We are only appealing people to boycott the film. SRK is taking Maharashtra for granted.” One of Bollywood’s most popular on screen pairs -- Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol -- are reuniting on the big screen with Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale.
Watch Dilwale trailer
Meanwhile, a right-wing group in Indore has threatened movie theatres in the city against screening the film as it objected to comments by the Bollywood superstar on the intolerance debate.
The announcement by Hind Rashtra Sanghatan (HRS), a little -known outfit, that it will oppose the screening of the film has prompted the Film Federation of India (FFI) to seek the necessary preventive actions from authorities here. Dilwale, which also stars Kajol, is set for release on December 18. “We’ve met police and civil authorities and requested them to take stern action against HRS,” FFI president Jaiprakash Chowksey said. “The authorities should ensure that the screening is not hindered as the film has been cleared by censor board,” he added.
Watch: Sneak peek preview of Dilwale
An FFI delegation will also meet Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and request him to instruct the police and the officials concerned to take the necessary steps to allow the smooth screening of the film, he said.
HRS has put up banners here saying it will vandalise any cinema halls screening the film. HRS head Rajesh Shirodkar, who claimed he was also a BJP member, said Shah Rukh was making “irresponsible statements” over intolerance and that it has vitiated the atmosphere in the country.
He said his organisation has appealed to film distributors and cinema-hall owners to not screen the film. On his 50th birthday, Shah Rukh had expressed concern over rising intolerance in the country amid a raging debate on the issue.