As movie halls across of the country screened Parzania, a film about a Parsi family torn apart by a missing child in the backdrop of the post Godhra riots of 2002, As movie halls across of the country screened Parzania.
Featuring Naseeruddin Shah, the film by Rahul Dholakia is a true story of 14-year-old Azhar Modi, the son of the only Parsi family in Gulbarg Society — where 39 Muslims were killed by an 8,000-strong mob — who went missing. Though not a critique of the riots, there was a lurking fear among film exhibitors here that Parzania might meet the same fate as Fanaa, which could not be released due to protests by the Sangh Parivar against Aamir Khan’s espousal of the cause of those displaced by the Narmada dam.
Dholakia told HT from Mumbai that the exhibitors had shied away as they were skeptical if they would get police protection for the screening. They reportedly told their agents not to book Parzania as they feared attacks. Refuting allegations that the film shows Gujarat in poor light, Dholakia said they should watch the film first before jumping to conclusions. He hoped better sense would prevail and the film would be released next week.
However, exhibitors attributed Parzania’s absence to the tight schedule in theatres due to the release last week of Guru and this week of Salaam-e-Ishq. Manubhai Patel, president, Multiplex Association of Gujarat, said that since Salaam was a long film and Guru was running well, it was not possible to accommodate Parzania. He said exhibitors were waiting for the response the film got in Mumbai and elsewhere. “We are in business, why should we forego profits if it is earning well”, asked Manubhai.
Meanwhile, Bajrang Dal’s Babubhai Bajrangi, prime accused in the Naroda Patiya case, said they had not opposed Parzania, as yet. “Gujarat is peaceful, why disturb it? We will watch the film and oppose it if something objectionable against Gujarat is found.”