Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Cabinet minister in the MVA government Jitendra Awhad on Monday forced the cancellation of the screening of Marathi movie ‘Har Har Mahadev’ that was being screened at a theatre in a Thane mall. There were complaints that some moviegoers were assaulted by the NCP workers as well.
Awhad, who led a number of NCP supporters inside the theatre, asked the patrons to leave, asserting that the movie allegedly “distorted the Maratha history and such movies would not be allowed to be released in the state”. Police Deputy Commissioner of Police (Thane, Zone V) Vinay Kumar Rathod said they were in the process of registering an FIR for blocking the screening of the movie under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. “We have increased security at the cinema hall, and an FIR is being registered. We will find out who was involved in the case,” he said, adding that no complaints were
The incident occured hours after the NCP warned the film industry, asserting that “any distortion of history under the name of freedom of expression and cinematic liberty will not be tolerated, and such films will face opposition”.
The move came in support of Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati from the Kolhapur royal family — a former Rajya Sabha member and descendant of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — who also warned that films distorting historical facts about Shivaji’s life will be strongly opposed, with efforts being taken on preventing the release of such films.
This came in the wake of release of Marathi film ‘Har Har Mahadev’, and the announcement of upcoming film ‘Vedat Marathe Veer Daudale Saat’ during which state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray were present.
Sambhajiraje on Sunday said, “A number of inaccuracies have been pointed out in the recently released movie, ‘Har Har Mahadev’. We have also been hearing about fact distortion in ‘Vedat Marathe Veer Daudale Saat’. We will stall the release of any other such film in the future.”
After recently watching ‘Har Har Mahadev’, Maharashtra Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar also said that he will organise its show for the Cabinet. Maharashtra NCP President Jayant Patil, meanwhile, said that his party has always protected freedom of expression. “Producers, however, should not distort historical facts in films. They must show events as that happened. The NCP will not tolerate any fiddling of facts in the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” according to Patil.