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Published on 30 Dec 2014 | over 3 years ago

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In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Vinod Bansal, Delhi Media Chief & Spokesperson,VHP; Swami Chakrapani, President, Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha; Rahul Easwar, Social Activist; Pandit Ajay Gautam, Spokesperson, Shankaracharya, Dwarkadhish Peeth; Shobhaa De, Author & Columnist; Hansal Mehta, Director & Writer; Mayank Shekhar, Film Critic -- discuss the issue of Right wing groups halting screenings of Aamir Khan's PK across, and intolerant at Bollywood's artistic freedom.

Wielding batons and iron rods, nearly two dozen Bajrang Dal activists today (Dec 29, 2014) vandalised theatres screening Aamir Khan blockbuster 'PK' in Ahmedabad and Bhopal for making "fun" of Hindu Gods and godmen. Aamir Khan-starrer 'PK' has been at the centre of a controversy with Hindu outfits demanding a ban on the film for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. The film has sparked protests by Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and All India Hindu Mahasabha while police complaints have been filed in several parts of country alleging that it mocked Hindu gods and its contents were "highly provocative". Yoga guru Ramdev demanded that the movie should be boycotted and all those associated with it "ostracised" from society. While the right wing leaders lashed out at Aamir insinuating that he "insulted" Hindu religion because he was a Muslim, the actor has said, "We respect all religions. All my Hindu friends have seen the film and they have not felt the same". "Even Raju (Hirani) is Hindu, so is Vinod (Chopra) and so is Abhijat (Joshi). In fact 99 per cent of the crew was Hindu. No one would have done such a thing," the actor said, referring to the director, producer and the scriptwriter of the film. Swami Chakrapani of Hindu Mahasbha alleged that the film's depiction of 'gow mata', Hindu eities like Lord Shiva is an "insult of Sanatan Dharm". "The way they have questioned the making of pilgrimage to Amarnath.... And they have deliberately given such comments so that their film is a hit and they earn more money," he said, adding, "They have hurt the sentiments of all religions and all should get together to ensure this does not happen". "When it is about Christianity or Islam, people think 100 times before they speak anything (against the religions). But when they talk about Hinduism, people say or show whatever comes to their mind without giving it even a single thought. This is shameful," Ramdev told reporters in Mumbai. "People who speak in a bad light about Hindu culture should be ostracised from the society and their films should also be shunned by the people," he said. While the Censor Board too earned the ire of the protesting outfits, its chief Leela Samson said the Board will not remove any scenes from the film. "Every film may hurt religious sentiments of somebody or the other. We can't remove scenes unnecessarily because there is something called creative endeavour where people present things in their own way," the Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said "We have already given certificate to 'PK' and we can't remove anything now because it's already out for public viewing," she told PTI. Meanwhile, Muslim religious leaders today supported the demand for ban on alleged "objectionable" scenes in the film to ensure that communal harmony is not disturbed.
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