[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter the release of the Marathi theatrical trailer of Thackeray, the bilingual biopic on Bal Thackeray, many slammed it for lines referencing south Indians in a derogatory manner.
In one scene, which is missing from the Hindi trailer of the film, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who is essaying the role of Bal Thackeray, is initially seen walking through bustling areas of erstwhile Bombay with Tamil, Malayalam and English signboards on the streets, with men busy at work. As he walks around, he accidentally bumps into a man, presumed to be a Malayalee, who yells, “What, dog? Can’t you see? (Endaada patti? Dhiktha nahi hai?)”
Moments later, we see an angry Bal Thackeray addressing a meeting at Amar Hind Mandal, where the leader was known to meet party activists in the early days.
“[How] these salé ‘andu gundu’ South Indians come together! How they [help] make each other big in life! They bring people from their hometowns even to wash the dishes at [their street side] idli carts. But not anymore. Now “uthao lungi, bajao pungi!” he says in what is supposed to be a rousing speech.
Shortly after this, an Udupi Coffee House, where men in lungis (depicting south Indians) are walking around, is attacked. The glass exteriors of the restaurant are smashed by a trouser-clad thug.
The biopic, on the life of late Shiv Sena chief, has also received objections from the Central Board of Film Certification. The film certification body has reportedly sought the deletion of the controversial lines mentioned above, along with references to the demolition of Babri Masjid. However, it is not clear as to which version or portions of the movie or the trailer the CBFC has objected to.
Taking to Twitter, actor Siddharth, among others, termed the controversial dialogues ‘hate speech’ against south Indians. Check out his tweets below:
Some others were quick to note that the Hindi version of the trailer did not have the controversial lines, focusing instead of how Bal Thackeray ‘stood for his people’ and ‘his state’.
While some supported Siddharth, there were many who stood by the dialogue in the trailer. Check out the tweets below:
Directed by Abhijit Panse and written by Shiv Sena politician Sanjay Raut, the film has been scheduled for a January 25 release.