Swaha, a film that exposes blind faith in babas (spiritual gurus), will release this week. And, Producer Pravin Bharadwaj is a relieved man.
The Bombay High Court has vacated the stay on his movie’s release, which Sant Shri Asaram Ji Mahila Utthan Ashram Trust had obtained from the Lower Court, in Dindoshi in March. The film has a character called Asanand Bapu, supposedly modelled on Aasaram Bapu. On March 11, the Asaram Mahila Utthaan filed a case in the Dindoshi court, seeking a stay on the release of the film scheduled to open on March 12 on the grounds that the character of Aasanand potrayed Aasaram Bapu in a negative light that was offensive to the saint, and his devotees.
The court ruled in Bharadwaj’s favour and dismissed the motion on May 7. But the Trust got an extension on the stay so they could file an appeal in the higher court. Honourable Judge, Shri R C Chavan of Bombay High Court finally ruled in favour of the fim and vacated the stay on June 11.
However, Bharadwaj has been directed to carry a disclaimer at the beginning of the film stating that Swaha “has absolutely no resemblance to the life of Asaram Bapu.” Bharadwaj is now planning to open on June 18 in major territories like Mumbai and Delhi. “For me, the High Court order has brought the story to an end. Already, I’ve suffered considerable loss since the release was stalled for three months,” he points out, adding that there was never any intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments.