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'Katrina had no say in the outfits'

Director Vipul Shah speaks to Hiren Kotwani about the controversial skirt issue which refuses to die down.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 12:18 IST
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style

The issue of Katrina Kaif wearing a skirt at the Ajmer dargah for shooting a sequence for Vipul Shah’s Namastey London on October 2 refuses to die down.

More than a month after the incident, the dargah committee has issued a notice to the actress, filmmaker, Rishi Kapoor and the shoot organiser Babu Bhai Ghosi, warning them that a case would be filed against them if they did not apologise.

“I believe a notice has been issued to us, but we haven’t got it so far,” said Shah, adding: “Right from the day the reports first appeared, I’ve said we’re all very sorry if we’ve offended anyone or hurt any religious sentiments.”

Katrina Kaif play an NRI in Vipul Shah's Namastey London.

Responding to the question of permission to shoot inside the shrine, Shah maintained: “I believe in doing everything systematically, so I told the local organiser, Jai Kumar to get all permissions before we reached the location for shooting. We shot at places like Kedarnath, Haridwar, Taj Mahal, Lakshman Jhoola and the deserts of Rajasthan too."

He further adds, "I believe we had the permission to shoot inside Ajmer Sharif. When we reached the shrine, there were lots of policemen. All the khadims of the dargah were present to receive us. And they were with us for the two hours till we completed shooting. So, logically, we had the permission.”

He further added: “I’ve told the local organiser to send me the permission documents to prove his claims. If he doesn’t have them, then I shall have to sue him. Why should my team and I be penalised for someone else’s mistakes?”

Returning to the issue of Kaif ’s skirt, Shah said: “People should know that Katrina had no say in the outfits. It’s the director who decides the outfits for the scenes. And in this case, we had showed the outfits to the authorities before we shot in the premises. Since they cleared the outfits, I didn’t think there would be any issue.”

On the issue being raised again Shah said, “I’ve said I’ll show them the footage shot inside the shrine and if they find anything offensive, then I’m ready to delete that scene. If they permit us, then I can reshoot.”

Right now Shah wants to calm the situation. “Katrina, Rishiji and I agree that if the authorities want us to tender a public apology, we’re ready to do so.”

First Published: Nov 18, 2006 12:18 IST