The Uttarakhand government on Friday decided to ban Bollywood film Kedarnath starring Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput for allegedly promoting love jihad, a term used by the right-wing Hindutva groups to accuse Muslims of luring Hindu girls to convert to Islam.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj said, “Our committee has forwarded our advice to the Chief Minister and decided that law & order should be reviewed.We asked District Magistrates to maintain peace and everyone has decided that Kedarnath movie should be banned. The movie is banned everywhere in state.”
Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, Kedarnath is set against the backdrop of the raving floods of 2013 in the hilly state of India. In the film, while Sara is playing the role of a Hindu girl, Sushant is in a Muslim character of a local helper. The film courted controversy after the trailer showed steamy scenes involving the two lead actors. In one scene both are seen kissing each other.
Hindu groups have alleged that such scenes insulted the their faith since Kedarnath is considered to be one of the holiest sites for them. A petition filed by lawyers Ramesh Chandra Mishra and Prabhakar Tripathi had argued that the love story between a Hindu girl (played by Sara) and a Muslim boy (played by Sushant) will create a drastic situation and will promote ‘love-jihad.’
The Indian censor board had given the film U/A certificate while giving its approval for release recently.