What’s wrong with a filmy version of Lord Chitragupta wearing a suit?

Hindu fringe group seeks ban on Ajay Devgn-starrer Thank God, pointing out Lord Chitraguptas modern costume. We find it funny!

Going by the way things are with the Ajay Devgn-starrer Thank God, it looks like the producers will have to look up to God Almighty himself to save their money. For, the film, also starring Sidharth Malhotra and Rakul Preet Singh among many others, has run into trouble in Karnataka.

Hindu Janajagruti Samithi, operating in Karnataka, has objected to the film’s trailer saying that it hurts religious sentiments. A complaint has been filed against the cast and its director Indra Kumar by the Hindu outfit.

Creative art, of late, has been facing major intervention in terms of freedom of expression with religion being dragged in. This has happened many a time in the past few years, thereby curbing even creative expressions in art. 

Thank God hurts religious sentments, feels Hindu group

This time, the complaint is funnier than one could imagine. The film’s trailer, which was released on September 9, was found as extremely against the Hindu scriptures by the fringe group. The Thank God trailer portrays Lord Yama and Lord Chitragupta, two mythical characters in charge of death, in modern costumes. The new age costumes have irked the sentiments of the so-called devout Hindu group that they were soon up in arms against this.

As per the Hindu Janajagruti Samithi, the actors in the trailer are seen mocking Hindu gods! Warning that the group will not tolerate mockery of Chitragupta and Lord Yama in the name of freedom of expression, the Hindu Janajagruti Samithi lashed out against the Censor Board for not stopping its release.

Demanding that release certificate should be denied for the film, the Hindu Janajagruti Samithi called upon the State and Central Home ministries to impose a ban on the film. They have also threatened to take out protests against the flick.

Here’s the trailer. I found it entertaining. Wonder what is wrong with Lord Chitragupta wearing a suit! See for yourself.

Bollywood under attack

The Hindu outfit also went a step ahead lambasting Bollywood for continuously making a mockery of the Hindu faith. Alleging that Thank God is akin to the earlier Aamir Khan-starrer PK, the group said it would not allow Bollywood to make fun of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the name of freedom of expression.

With the trailer itself making fun of the Hindu religion, the Hindu Janajagruti Samithi suspects that the whole film will have more objectionable material. Incidentally, movie fans are an excited lot ever since the trailer was revealed. The positivity it emanates has been lauded by many viewers who look forward to watching the film when it releases.

The protests could come as a hurdle for the Thank God team, as the film has been slated for release on October 25.  With such elements trying to make freedom of expression a farce, filmdom is indeed in for much trouble.  Getting films released after taking into account every fringe groups demands could prove to be a major hassle. It would require intervention from the powers that be to rein in such religious elements that are bent on fomenting trouble.

Whether the film is watchable or not would be known only when it releases finally. But seriously, the trailer having Lord Chitragupta clad in a modern suit is no reason for a call for ban. What the Thank God team would now have to do to get the film in theatres on October 25 is a question that would seek answers from the people in power. Hope sense prevails here.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The New Indian Express, MSN India, PanAsiaBiz. Sanjeev can be reached at [email protected]

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