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Yellow costume lands Nepal film in trouble

regional-movies Updated: Apr 20, 2010 13:40 IST

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After Hollywood and Bollywood, now it is the turn of Nepal’s film industry, dubbed Kollywood, to face the anger of ruffled Hindu groups.The Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh (VHM), a pro-Hindu, formerly royalist religious group in Nepal, has trained its sights on a newly-released action film that has reportedly insulted Hindu sentiments.

The VHM, that is also campaigning for the restoration of Hinduism as the state religion in Nepal, has filed a complaint with the chief district officer of Kathmandu against the film, Hifajat (Custody), directed by Gyanendra Deuja.The group is upset because of a song and fight sequence, in which the heroine wears an outfit that is a cross between a tank top and a bikini, with a scarf round her head and a strip of cloth around her waist.

All garments are in a shade of bright yellow worn by Hindu mendicants with Hare Ram Hare Krishna and Om Namoh Shivayo, printed in red.Supported by two other Hindu groups, the Dharma Sanskriti Samrakshan Manch and Vishwa Hindu Yuva Sangh, the VHM says that it is an insult to religious sentiments to have the holy chants “draped over sensitive parts of a woman’s body”. The film was cleared by the censor board. The administration is moving gingerly, given the volatile situation in the country, with the government unlikely to meet its peace deadline next month.

The action has also upset Nepal’s blogging community: “If writing chants on (the) body is against Hindu sentiments, why don’t they talk with (Bollywood actor and Hema Malini’s daughter) Esha Deol, about removing (the) Gayatri Mantratattoo on her back?” an exasperated blogger has posted on the site .