The Maharashtra Nav-nirman Sena (MNS) on Friday forced filmmaker Karan Johar to apologise for a dialogue in his latest production, Wake Up Sid, which referred to the city as ‘Bombay’. MNS cadres warned theatre owners against screening the film.
Johar rushed to placate MNS chief Raj Thackeray. “It was a mistake, and I apologise,” said Johar. “Within four days, I will put a disclaimer before the start of the movie that the word was wrongly used.”
Raj warned filmmakers against repeating the ‘mistake’. In the three meetings he addressed on Friday, Raj referred repeatedly to how he had forced a Bollywood major to submit to his demand. Political observers said this was to help him score points over his cousin, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray.
It was the Sena-BJP government that changed the city’s name in 1995 and, seeing Thackeray steal its thunder, the alliance resorted to damage control. Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said: “Johar must apologise to crores of Maharasht-rians, not to a political party.”