When producer Pravin Bharadwaj started Swaha, a film on blind faith revolving around babas and sadhus, little did he know that he would be the recipient of threat calls. Ever since we reported that a character in the film, Asanadji Maharaj, was inspired by Aasaram Bapu, Bharadwaj has become a target.
Last Saturday, a huge stone was hurled at his Honda City when he was returning home to Evershine Park in Andheri. Recalling the incident, Bharadwaj says, “After checking the publicity with my hero Rikky, I was on my way home when suddenly, the rear windshield of my car shattered under the impact of a huge boulder. We lost control of the car and hit the gate of my building.”
Shocked, Bharadwaj was too scared to venture out that night, but the next morning, accompanied by a few of his friends, he registered an FIR against unknown miscreants at the Amboli police station.
Although he hasn’t named Aasaram Bapu in his complaint, Bharadwaj admits that he has been getting calls from Gujarat. One Neelam Dubey, claiming to be from Asaram Bapu’s ashram, called to warm him about the fury of Bapu’s devotees if he went ahead with the release of his movie.
“After that, I didn’t answer any calls from that particular number. But I’ve been getting threats from other numbers. Even Rikky has been getting calls,” asserts Bharadwaj, adding that he has given a list of all the numbers to the police who are investigating the case. “I have been assured that a van will be deputed in the area and will rush to my help in case of an emergency.”
Swaha is scheduled to open in theatres this Friday. He says, “I’ve spoken to theatre owners and have been assured that they’ll take the necessary measures to avoid any untoward incident.”