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NRI groups call for boycott of Jodha Akbar

The groups join the protest against the screening of the epic Bollywood movie, saying it grossly distorts Indian history and hurts the sentiments of people who love the culture, history and traditions of India.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Silicon Valley
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2008 11:22 AM IST

With historians having differences on Princess Jodha Bai, some NRI groups have joined the protest against the screening of Bollywood movie Jodhaa Akbar, saying it "grossly distorts" Indian history.

In a press release in Silicon valley, the groups said that they considered these "distortions to be extremely insensitive and it hurts the sentiments of millions of people who love the culture, history and traditions of India."

Calling for a boycott of the movie directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar, the supporters of the campaign-led by Rajput Karni Sena said while this film may be fictional in nature, but a mere disclaimer of 30 seconds or so at the beginning of a movie rarely gets registered in the mind of the moviegoer.

"It is the main movie, its story and the events it depicts that leave a lasting imprint."

The groups joining the campaign include Agni Foundation; the Netherlands, Global Institute for Truth & Awareness (GITA), USA; Hindi USA; Independent NRI Forum, USA; Kashmir Task Force, USA; Save Temples, USA.

"Some people have asked whether even a Bollywood movie can seriously damage a culture of billion people. No, in the long run, it cannot. But that is not the point. The real concern of the campaign is for each and every person," said Naresh Sharma of Global Institute for Truth & Awareness.

Supporters of the campaign say that the depiction of romance between Akbar and Jodhaa prior to their marriage is a total concoction because based on historical records and contrary to what the film projects, nobody called Jodhaa has ever been associated with Jalaluddin, later called Akbar. In fact, there is no mention of Jodhaa in the historical records prepared by Akbar's own historian Abul Fazl.

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