A Pune multiplex, City Pride, cancelled five scheduled shows of the new Bollywood release “Bajirao Mastani” following a vociferous protest by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists on Friday.
At least 200 party workers led by city vice president Jayant Bhave raised slogans and protested the screening of the new Sanjay Leela Bhansali costume drama which opened across India on Friday.
“The filmmakers have completely distorted the historical facts of the Peshwa era of the early 1700s and has actually portrayed him in an insulting manner. The people of Maharashtra virtually worship the Peshwas so we cannot tolerate what is being depicted in this film,” Bhave told IANS.
Following the slogan shouting and angry protests by the activists who gathered before the scheduled 8 a.m. show, the multiplex management decided to cancel all the five shows.
Bhave said that Peshwa Bajirao I is a highly revered historical figure who helped spread Chhatrapati Shivaji’s empire to other parts of India and remained so busy in his responsibilities that he used to eat his food on horse back during battles.
“He never had the time to fiddle with his hair locks (choti) and dance in public as shown in the film… Similarly, the depiction of his wife Kashibai portrayed by actress Priyanka Chopra is also in poor taste as the royalty never behaved in such fashion those days,” Bhave said.
Starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles of Peshwa Bajirao I and his two wives, the film made by Bhansali revolves around the lives and times of the trio.
A few weeks ago in Mumbai, the descendents of the Peshwas had also raised objections to certain things portrayed in the film as distorting historical facts.
Bhave said that either the filmmakers should delete the objectionable scenes or change the name of the movie.