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‘There was nothing derogatory in Munni...’

Dabangg director, Abhinav Kashyap, has replaced the offending word, Hindustan and also turned Gautam Buddha into ‘good boy’ to woo everyone.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2010 15:58 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

You must have been relieved when despite the hard-core action, your directorial debut, Dabangg, was passed with a U/A certificate?


My first introduction to the censor board was during

Yuva

. I’d assisted Mani sir (director Mani Ratnam) on the movie and I remember the board offering us a U/A certificate with a few cuts. I knew the guidelines better this time. The censors are okay with action as long as there is not much blood. Our fight scenes are like those in a Jackie Chan movie, more fun than gory.



Also, my film doesn’t have any explicit sexual content or abusive language, so I was optimistic that they’d view it in the right perspective. They did and only objected to one of Salman’s (Khan) lines, “

Main koi

Gautam Budhdh

hoon nahin

...” since Buddha is a revered saint. We changed the line to “

Main koi

good boy

hoon nahin

...”



Dabangg The censors also passed Malaika Arora Khan’s item number,

Munni badnaam hui

… but others moved court claiming the track was an insult to the nation.


There is nothing derogatory about

Munni badnaam hui…

The line

Baat yeh aam hui,

darling

tere liye, Be-Hindustan hui, darling tere liye

…’ is in no way insulting to the country. It’s not as if we’re saying that India has been wooed by Munni’s charms, only that her fame has spread through the country.



I see an agenda behind the case. Someone was out to get publicity or money. The matter is subjudice but even before the verdict is out, we’ve changed the word

Hindustan

to

Policeistan

.



Did you expect Lalit Pandit’s song to become another ‘

Chaiyya chaiyya

…’?


I don’t know if it is another

Chaiyya chaiyya

… , bigger than that or lesser. All I can say is that we liked this composition and hoped it would become a craze. It has.

Dabangg

is our big Eid attraction this year.



But it will not open in Pakistan because the entertainment ministry there doesn’t want competition for the local films from a Bollywood movie during the festive week.


I’ve heard this too, but not from reliable sources. If it’s true, it’s sad. It would mean some losses for Arbaaz (producer-actor Arbaaz Khan); I can’t give you


numbers since I’m not involved with the business side. I hope we are given permission to officially release in the second week. I want Pakistanis too to see my film, and it would be better for us if they see it in the theatres rather than on pirated DVDs.



Disappointed that you couldn’t go abroad to promote the film?


Here is some breaking news for you. One of the reasons our team couldn’t travel abroad for promotion was Abhinav Kashyap. My first overseas trip was to Dubai to shoot for

Dabangg

.



The fact that I hadn’t been on too many overseas tours created problems when I applied for a visa to the US and the UK. The UK Embassy took 19 days, by which time the date to apply to other embassies had passed. It is disappointing since I had been looking forward to observing the NRIs’ reactions to my film up close. We’ll be going to Norway now via some countries.



The film’s been ‘hot’ since the first promos came out. Does that up the pressure?


What pressure? I’m on top of the world. Like everyone else, I too crave appreciation and the response has been overwhelming and unanimous since the first promos were aired. I can’t go back and change anything about my film now, so along with the bouquets, I’ll accept the brickbats too, if I get any.