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Farhan Akhtar can lodge police complaint about his photo in book: Bengal education minister

On August 19, Farhan Akhtar, who played the legendary Milkha Singh in the 2013 biopic ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, tweeted that a still from the film was used in a Bengali school book instead of the athlete’s photo.

kolkata Updated: Aug 22, 2018 18:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Farhan Akhtar,Partha Chatterjee,Milkha Singh
Mikha Singh, known as ‘The Flying Sikh’ was the first Indian to win an individual athletics gold medal at Commonwealth Games in 1958.(HT File Photo)

Two days after actor Farhan Akhtar pointed out that he has been depicted as athlete Milkha Singh in a book in West Bengal, the education minister of the state advised him to lodge a police complaint since the book was not published, distributed or endorsed by the government.

It was published by a company over which the government has no control, remarked minister Partha Chatterjee.

Incidentally, on August 20, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said the book was neither a part of government school curriculum nor was it published by the state.

“The book is not a government publication. It was published by someone who is not even known to us. He (Farhan Akhtar) can lodge a police complaint if he wants,” Chatterjee told the media on Tuesday evening.

Chairman of the state’s syllabus committee, Avik Majumdar had said earlier that the book was not a part of the government school curriculum.

The controversy began on August 19, when Akhtar, who played the legendary athlete in the 2013 biopic ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, tweeted that a still from the film was used in the book instead of Singh’s photo.

“Thanks Farhan. Ref the wrong pic of Milkha Singh. Checked with education minister of state. He tells me it isn’t a textbook for government schools. Nor is it published by government,” Derek O’Brien tweeted.

“Appreciate your response. Tagged you since you take education very seriously,” tweeted Akhtar in response to the MP’s response.

Mikha Singh was the first Indian to win an individual athletics gold medal at Commonwealth Games in 1958.

Akhtar described the error as glaring. “Could you please request the publisher to recall and replace this book? Sincerely,” Akhtar wrote in the microblogging site tagging the West Bengal education minister.

Chatterjee first reacted by saying the government will take necessary steps after finding out the details.

Incidentally, the biopic on Milkha Singh won National Awards in two categories - Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Best Choreography.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 18:13 IST