Lucknow | Amidst row and demonstrations over Aamir Khan-starrer ‘PK’, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to exempt the movie from entertainment tax. Chief Minister Akilesh Yadav has watched the movie and has directed that such films should be exempted from the entertainment tax, a senior officer said here. The portrayal of Hindu sentiments in the movie has evoked criticism across the state.
Hindu Yuva Vahini activists yesterday burnt the effigy of Aamir and staged a protest against the screening of ‘PK’ at a cinema hall in Bareilly. The HYV activists staged a protest before Prasad talkies in Kotwali police station area and also barged inside forcing the cancellation of the show.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav praised ‘PK’, saying, It has a message and this should reach everybody’s heart and mind. Those who have not seen the movie should go and watch it. You will surely understand why I took this decision… I took a decision to make it tax-free so that maximum number of people can watch it, he told reporters while explaining his government’s move to make the movie tax free, which will cut its ticket prices and boost business.
Yadav said he could not watch the movie earlier due to lack of time, and finally he managed to watch it last night. The SP government’s decision comes amid raging protests against the movie by Hindu bodies who claim that it hurts religious sentiments.
‘PK’ row: Maha CM says no probe; film shows to continue
Mumbai | Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today ruled out any probe into Aamir Khan starrer ‘PK’, a day after MoS for Home ordered an inquiry into the film’s content amidst raging protests, and promised adequate protection for its smooth screening. There will be no inquiry. Shows of PK will continue all over Maharashtra and we will provide necessary protection to ensure smooth screening of the film, he told reporters.
Amid protests by right-wing groups demanding a ban on the movie, which takes a swipe at Hindu gods, godmen and superstition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde had said yesterday that he had asked police to probe contents of the film. Shows of PK won’t be stopped. PK will continue to be screened in Maharashtra, Fadnavis said following reports that some theatres had cancelled the shows under threat from right wing groups like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
With protests spreading to several states, the film’s director Rajkumar Hirani had said yesterday he had no intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments and maintained that the film upholds the true spirit of religion while condemning only the abuse of it. I’m deeply saddened and concerned about the protests by some groups against our film ‘PK’. On behalf of the entire team of ‘PK’, I would like to clarify that we respect all religions and faiths, the 52-year-old celebrated film director had said, in a statement.
Shinde had asked IG (Law and Order) Deven Bharti to look into objectionable scenes, if any, in the film and promised necessary action if any wrong was found. The Censor board may have found the film fit to be released and hence they cleared it from their end. But after the release some organisations have objected to some parts of the film, Shinde had said, adding the government will step in if the issue snowballed into a major law and order problem.
The film has the right wing Hindu groups up in arms, staging protests that have turned violent in some places including BJP-ruled Gujarat where theatres have been vandalised. Protests have also taken place in several states including Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Haryana and Delhi, besides Hyderabad and Mumbai. Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, has already made it clear that the board will not remove any scenes from the film.
Aamir has also trashed accusations of him having insulted the Hindu religion because he was a Muslim, saying, We respect all religions. All my Hindu friends have seen the film and they have not felt the same. Clarifications from Hirani and Aamir Khan have, however, cut no ice with the agitators.
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