Aamir Khan and Kajol-led Fanaa turns 17 today, and on this special day, we decided to take you back to 2006, when the film was in the midst of a controversy. Despite being loved nationwide, the Kunal Kohli-directed romantic thriller was unofficially banned in Gujarat due to protests against Khan for his comments criticising the Gujarat government and extending his support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).
Owing to the unrest in the state, multiplex, as well as cinema owners, refrained from screening the film anticipating violent protests from the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), given their threats that they would not allow showing any of Khan’s films till he apologies for his “anti-Gujarat” remarks. However, the actor said he wouldn’t. Read on to know why he decided to stand his ground and not apologise.
As reported by oneindia.com, when Aamir Khan was asked about his statements on the Sardar Sarovar dam issue and the unofficial ban of Fanaa in Gujarat, he said, ‘” I had only said that the project-affected people should be rehabilitated. About 35,000 families in places like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat will be displaced if the height of the dam is increased. I am not against progress, but before rendering thousands homeless, give them a roof over their heads. Are you telling me to apologise for speaking the truth? If I have done something wrong, tell me I will apologise. I won’t become small by that. But if I am not in the wrong, why should I apologise?”
Further talking about the controversy and its effect on the film, Aamir Khan added, “As far as banning ‘Fanaa’ in Gujarat goes I can only say I am doing my ‘karma’, what is right. Let the government do their ‘karma’ and do what they feel is right. I feel that the poor should get water, earn their daily means of livelihood. If for speaking up they will ban the film, so be it. I have nothing to say. I will not retract. I will not go back on what I said. Nobody has approached me and there have been no feelers.”
He continued, “May be I am nothing compared to the BJP. May be I am taking on a very big power. But I will face what comes my way. In the name of religion whoever exploits people, is not human at all. I will speak against such leaders. We are considered to be a democracy, so how can you apply force on a person who is speaking the truth?” The actor added, “People who want to see ‘Fanaa’ will see it anyway. People are a very big force, they can topple a goverenment if they want. I leave it upto them to decide about the ban. I also urge the people to pay attention to which political parties are against this whether, the BJP or others. People of Gujarat have to decide how to see ‘Fanaa’.”
Besides Aamir Khan as Rehan Qadri Sr/Rehan Khan/Captain Ranjeev Singh and Kajol as Zooni Qadri (née. Ali Beg), Fanaa also starred Rishi Kapoor, Kirron Kher, Tabu and many more.
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