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Sikhs object to Manmarziyaan; Anurag Kashyap defends smoking scenes


Kashyap has been quick to offer an explanation by posting a long note on Twit Longer.

Our Correspondent

A Sikh group has objected to certain scenes in director Anurag Kashyap's Manmarziyaan.

Ambala-based Sikh group Sikh Sangat has objected to the cigarette smoking scene and the manner in which Abhishek Bachchan’s character removes his turban. Both Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu play Sikh characters in the film.

“The filmmakers have not only hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs, but they have also made an attempt to distort the Sikh principles. This is not the first time when a film is attacking the Sikh identity, earlier as well there have been films which have targeted the Sikhs. We will strongly oppose the screening of this film in our area, we urge the Sikhs worldwide to unite and stand against this film,” the group told The Times Of India.

Kashyap has been quick to offer an explanation by posting a long note on Twit Longer. The director explained how the smoking scene was not shot inside the gurdwara and how they consulted Sikhs around to ensure that Bachchan takes the turban out in the right manner.

"When we shot the sequence in the gurdwara, we were told we can’t shoot them getting married as it can’t be faked some made the actors do only 'Mattha tekna'. When we were shooting scenes, no member of the crew was allowed to smoke inside the houses. When we shot the smoking scene, it was shot on the street and there were close to 150 people watching the shoot. We asked before doing the scene and were told that he has to take the turban off before he smokes away from his house. We were also shown how Robbie should take the turban off with both hands and how he should hand it over and how the cousin should take it," Kashyap posted.

The Manmarziyaan director reminded how none of the Sikh members present during shooting raised any objection to the manner in which the scenes were shot.

“Most of the 150 people in the crowd were Sikhs and we were told that’s how it is [done]. We created what we saw with our own eyes and after discussion. It was never the intention to hurt the community and why would we do that when we got so much love from them. The city of Amritsar opened their hearts and doors to us and everything was done with the utmost care. Not a single thing was shot without guidance,” added Kashyap.

Given that the film is already running in theatres, Kashyap highlighted how it was difficult to make cuts now. The filmmaker apologised to people who were genuinely offended.

“I am sorry if anyone feels genuinely hurt but I would also request that please don’t make this unnecessary political because it’s not. I have always put out things the way they are without an agenda. Technology does not allow us to cut a scene and it affects the storytelling. So I definitely can not do that now. To those whose hurt is genuine, I offer a genuine apology, that wasn’t my intention. And for those who are doing it for attention, I am glad you have got the attention,” concluded Kashyap.

Manmarziyaan has made Rs17.50 crore in five days since it was released on 14 September.

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