Even before the film has hit the big screen, Chandra Prakash Dwivedi’s ‘Mohalla Assi’ has already sparked off a controversy with FIRs lodged against star Sunny Deol and director Chandra Prakash Dwivedi for alleged abusive words used in the film.
This time it was a group of religious people under the umbrella of Sarvajan Jagruti Sanstha that filed a complaint with the Varanasi police at the Bhelupur police station saying that the film ‘ violate moral ethics, but it also shows Varanasi in poor light.’ According to the complainant, “The film hurts religious sentiments and we cannot allow such a film to be released.”
Varanasi, the city by the Ganges, is the current shooting location for the film which is based on a novel called Kashi Ka Assi, written by renowned Hindi writer Kashinath Singh. The satirical movie stars the famous Sunny Deol in the lead role as a Sanskrit teacher and an orthodox religious priest (Pundit) with Sakshi Tanwar as his wife. The supporting role is played by Ravi Kishen.
The FIR alleges abusive language by Sunny Deol with protestors marching against the movie in the lanes of Varanasi. The movie is supposedly a vivid portrayal of a ‘mohalla’ in south Varanasi, a near the famous Assi Ghat. The FIR comes after a trailer of the movie was leaked on the internet a few days back and fell into the hands of the protesting religious group. The group has asked for the immediate removal of a scene where a man dressed as Lord Shiva supposedly uses foul language and any other similar parts of the movie.
Other films which have drawn similar criticism from a dominant religious group are Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘PK’ and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan’s ‘MSG: Messenger of God.’ As of now there is no definite date for the release of ‘Mohalla Assi’ since it is still in production and currently mired in the latest controversy. However, the movie has been in the making since 2011 and has been facing regular setbacks in various ways, this FIR being the latest.
We will keep you updated about the release of the film and the latest news on the FIR so stay tuned.