Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s latest film ‘Manmarziyaan’ is enjoying appreciations but some members of Sikh community has taken offence of few scenes in the movie. The film is facing controversy over some smoking sequences that have displeased the community members. The Supreme Sikh organisation has filed a petition against the film in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday, September 18.
The film has a scene where Abhishek Bachchan who is playing the character of Robbie is smoking a cigarette. The controversy got so serious that the screening of the film was removed in Punjab. Anurag Kashyap who is not in the country at present, took to Twitter to explain that ‘Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion’.
My statement on the brewing controversy.
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) September 19, 2018
I am not in India and I have been reading about the Sikh community feeling offended by the smoking scene. This film is not commenting on a community, it talks about individuals and their choices. Every step of the way, we asked for guidance from Sikh people for the film. When we shot the sequence in Gurudwara, we were told we can’t shoot them getting married as it can’t be faked so we 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. Most of the 150 people in the crowd were Sikhs and we were told that’s how it is. 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. We wanted to show things the way they are. No religion teaches crime or anything anti-humanity, yet those things happen. It doesn’t mean they are offending the religion. Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion. 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 cannot 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.
Anurag has minutely explained how carefully each every sequence has been shot keeping in minds that nobody’s religious sentiment is hurt. The movie is written by Kanika Dhillon and is produced by the Reliance Entertainment’s Phantom Films joint venture.