‘Tanhaji’ made tax-free in UP; Why not Chhapaak, asks OppnUpdated: Jan 14, 2020 23:02 IST
‘Tanhaji: The Unsung warrior’ starring actor couple Ajay Devgn and Kajol has been declared ‘tax free’ in Uttar Pradesh.
The decision comes days after Devgn requested chief minister Yogi Adityanath for the same.
Elated at the decision, Devgn and Kajol thanked Adityanath and invited him to watch the movie.
Devgn is playing Maratha ruler Shivaji’s army chief Tanhaji Malusare while Kajol is essaying the role of Tanhaji’s wife Savitribai in the movie.
If Adityanath accepts Devgn’s offer to watch the film it would be the second movie in as many years that he would see, last being ‘Uri: TheSurgical Strike’ in January for which a special screening was done at chief minister’s office in Lucknow.
There was no confirmation from chief minister’s office on whether Adityanath would agree to Devgn’s offer.
Throughout the day, prompted by Adityanath government’s decision to make Tanhaji taxfree, the twitterati got active, tweeting with hashtags ##TanhajiUnitesIndia that trended on twitter followed by another hashtag #ThankYouYOGIji that trended on twitter with nearly 56.8 K tweets many of which were retweets from BJP leaders and supporters.
Meanwhile the opposition, including Samajwadi Party as well as the Congress targeted Adityanath government of being selective while dealing with films.
Tanhaji was released on January 10 alongside Deepika Padukone’s ‘Chhapaak’, based on acid attack survivor’s sorrow and her triumph. Samajwadi Party which had booked an entire show of ‘Chhappak’ for its cadres, to show support to Padukone and acid attack survivors however accused the state government of politicising the movies by selectively deciding tax free status to films.
“Tanhaji is tax free but Chhapaak isn’t? Why? Selectivism, isn’t it? Then subsidy to ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ by Anurag Kashyap which was given tax free status in 2019 and which fulfilled all norms of UP Film Policy was held up,” asked SP leader IP Singh.
Both ‘Tanha ji’ and ‘Chhapaak’ had great box office opening though Tanhaji’s collection had far overtaken that of Padukone’s ‘Chhapaak’.
The tax cut – Uttar Pradesh has waived off its 28 per cent state Goods and Services Tax (SGST) on the movie – is likely to boost the movie collections even more with film experts estimating that ‘Tanhaji’ could well join the Rs 1 billion club.
“In fact, it would even cross that after the tax cut because UP is a big market where substantial reduction of ticket price would guarantee increased footfalls and subsequent collections,” said Rashid Hasan of the Western India Film Producers’ Association.
Adityanath’s media advisor Shalabh Mani Tripathi slammed critics. “There are some who will always see politics. Ideally, the Congress which is partnering the Maharashtra government should have made it tax free in Maharashtra because the movie is based on life and times of great Maratha warrior. But instead of praising us, Congress and other opponents are criticising us. It exposes them fully,” he said.
The Congress, meanwhile, hit back saying they don’t need certificate on nationalism from those who glorify Godse. “This government has politicised everything, from academic institutions to films. Do we need certificate from Godse lovers,” asked Zeeshan Haidar, Congress spokesman.