Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cautioned his Ministers to refrain from passing unnecessary statements on film celebrities. “No one should make unnecessary comments that would overshadow the hard work we do”, said PM Modi during the BJP National Executive Meeting.
“In his speech yesterday, the Prime Minister cautioned those who make statements to grab headlines. He told them that they should refrain from doing so.” said a BJP office bearer, present in the meeting.
The tussle over Pathaan started after the release of the movie’s first single, ‘Besharam Rang’. While the protest was mostly restricted to social media in the beginning, it made it to the prime-time headlines after a sitting BJP minister Narottam Mishra publicly denounced the song for the inappropriate representation of the saffron colour.
The minister threatened the makers to not let the movie be released in the state of Madhya Pradesh unless the scenes were altered. Mishra called the female lead of the movie, Deepika Padukone, a supporter of the Tukde Tukde Gang.
फिल्म #Pathan के गाने में टुकड़े-टुकड़े गैंग की समर्थक अभिनेत्री दीपिका पादुकोण की
वेशभूषा बेहद आपत्तिजनक है और गाना दूषित मानसिकता के साथ फिल्माया गया है।
गाने के दृश्यों व वेशभूषा को ठीक किया जाए अन्यथा फिल्म को मध्यप्रदेश में अनुमति दी जाए या नहीं दी जाए,यह विचारणीय होगा। pic.twitter.com/Ekl20ClY75
— Dr Narottam Mishra (@drnarottammisra) December 14, 2022
BJP MP Pragya Thakur also contributed to the boycott controversy. The parliamentarian urged Hindus to boycott all the movies of the actors who attached the word ‘Besharam’ with Saffron. “If you have any self-respect for being Hindu or have any pride in your religion, then you will never watch this film nor let it work.”.
Several right-wing organisations which support the BJP, or are under the larger umbrella of the party, called for a ban on the movie and even threatened to harm the theatres for screening it.
The Censor Board cleared the movie for release, with a few changes, which also included the change of colour for Deepika’s bikini. The changes suggested although minor, attracted outrage from the netizens.
When asked if the Prime Minister directed his message to him, Narottam Mishra stressed the fact that nobody was named.
“Nobody was named, but his (PM Modi’s) every word, and sentence is important for us and that is why all the workers have drawn inspiration from there. Our conduct and behaviour are always filled with his guidance and energy and will continue to be in the future.”