In a setback to the BJP and Congress, the Central Board of Film Certification has reportedly cleared Sara Ali Khan’s debut Bollywood film Kedarnath with just two cuts. The film, which also stars Sushant Singh Rajput, has been given U/A certificate, reported entertainment website Spotboye. Sources in the Censor Board said that the film’s controversial kissing scene will remain.
A local BJP leader in Uttarakhand, Ajendra Ajay, had demanded an immediate intervention of the Censor Board to ban the film saying that the film insulted the Hindu faith and those killed in the 2013 floods. The Congress, which governed Uttarakhand until 2017 had demanded banning of the film. Garima Dasauni, an AICC member, had told news agency ANI, “Inviting Bollywood stars to shoot here is a great way of tourism, but also the government should put all the norms in front of them and tell them about the do’s and don’t’s. No one has the right to violate our beliefs. Char Dham, especially Kedarnath, is the most important and people believe in it.”
Sara had come under attack from some quarters for shooting steamy scenes with Sushant. But now, a group of Hindu priests of Kedarnath and local BJP leaders have threatened mass protests if the film was not banned. They alleged that the film by Abhishek Kapoor promoted ‘love jihad.’
“We will launch an agitation if the movie is not banned as we have been told that it hurts the Hindu religious sentiments by promoting ‘love jihad’,” Vinod Shukla, chairman, Kedar Sabha, an organisaiton of the priests based in Kedarnath was quoted by Hindustan Times.
In the film, Sara is a playing the role of a Hindu devotee, while Sushant, the local helper, is believed to be Muslim. Love Jihad is a term, coined by Hindutva brigade in India to allege that Muslim men are running a campaign to target Hindu girls in a bid to convert them. Only recently, NIA, a central government agency, had told the Supreme Court that ‘love jihad’ was an imaginary phenomenon. It said after carrying out a detailed investigation in Kerala.
Kedarnath is set to release on 7 December.