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Madhuri Dixit's film in trouble with the real Gulabi Gang

Things are not so rosy for Madhuri Dixit's new film - Gulab Gang as the head of the real Gulabi Gang is unhappy about the film. Leader of the gang Sampat Pal is questioning the authenticity of the movie and demanding...

bollywood Updated: Aug 11, 2012 17:20 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times

A couple of months ago, Madhuri Dixit’s Gulab Gang, made headlines, thanks to Sampat Pal, who heads a women’s group (called Gulabi Gang) in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region, against domestic abuse.

Sampat Pal alleged that the film is based on her life and her group’s work. Pal even threatened to take the 'legal route'. Now, in the latest turn of events, Gulabi Gang has asked the makers for compensation.

They also want assurance that the lead character played by Madhuri Dixit, which, according to them, is inspired by Pal, is justly portrayed.
Sampat Pal Devi of the Gulabi Gang

Jaiprakash Shivhare, the national co-ordinator for Gulabi Gang, says, “Hum saral log hai (we are simple people). We want Madhuriji and the makers to take us into confidence. At least meet us. We run a group that helps women in distress. But we are sceptical as to how all of this will be shown. Also, since all films are made with the intention of profit, it would be great if they can give us some compensation. We can help women with that money.”

Ask what if the makers don’t pay up, and she says: “Hum chhote log hain (We are common people). What can we do?”

‘There’s no question of any kind of misrepresentation’

RA.One (2011) director Anubhav Sinha, on the other fornt, says that there is no question of any kind of misrepresentation. He is the producer of Gulab Gang, and laughs off the claims.

He says, “What compensation? Who is writing the film? (Writer-director) Soumik Sen, right? So, how do the members know whether it has anything to do with them? There’s no question of any kind of misrepresentation. Also, it’s too early for anyone to talk about the film,” says Anubhav.

Madhuri Dixit

The film goes on floors in October.

Anubhav adds, “We intend to release the film on International Women’s Day (March 8).”

Ask him about Gulabi Gang’s apprehensions about the portrayal of the lead character and he says, “I haven’t done enough research about the gang, because it has nothing to do with them. So please don’t believe in what anyone is speculating or making assumptions about.”

Madhuri Dixit is flustered about the whole controversy, Her manager, Rikku Rakesh Nath says, "It’s news to us (the demand for compensation). Why are we getting dragged into all this? We have nothing to do with it."


Madhuri's Gulab Gang goes on floors in October
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Madhuri Dixit at an event.

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A few days ago, Madhuri Dixit excitedly announced her new venture, Gulab Gang. Although producer Anubhav Sinha staunchly denies that the film is based on the life of Gulabi Gang’s founder president Sampat Pal, the latter is up in arms against Madhuri and the film’s makers, including director Soumik Sen.


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Her weak comeback in 2007 with Aaja Nachle seems to have taught her some hard lessons. That's probably why Madhuri Dixit has re-strategised her career post her return to India. And what's that strategy? The lady shared it recently on Twitter: "Am trying to explore new roles and do different types of films for you. Want to challenge myself as an actor! Having fun, and you?"


First Published: Aug 11, 2012 12:05 IST