Abhishek Kapoor’s new film Kedarnath, starring Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput in the principal roles has been banned in Uttarakhand after teerth purohits (priests) in Chardham objected to the plot of the movie alleging that it “hurts Hindu religious sentiments by promoting love jihad.” Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, Kedarnath narrates the love story of a Muslim porter and a Hindu priest’s daughter, set in the backdrop of the catastrophic floods in 2013 in the Uttarakhand town.
The ban on Kedarnath is a surprising stance considering the fact that the Uttarakhand High Court, on Thursday, had refused to stay the release of the film after Swami Darshan Bharti of Garhwal had demanded that the film should be banned. The High Court said Bharti should go to the District Magistrate of Rudraprayag with his complaint.
The petitioner pleaded that the film promoted ‘love jihad’ — a word coined by right-wing Hindu groups, to denote marriages between Muslim boys and Hindu girls.
Teerth purohits, in fact, had objected to the release of the film ever since the teaser released in October. Asked about the controversy during the trailer launch of the film in November, producer Ronnie Screwvala had said that it is unfair to judge a film without watching it and an opinion should be formed only after Kedarnath is watched in entirety.
“We are all Indians first and I don’t think there is anything in the movie. So if anyone has a point of view like most other movies that get into controversy – it only starts before they see the movie. I don’t know how after sixty seconds of watching something, somebody has formed such an opinion. We haven’t heard about it. Our job is to get to the censors. And as far as we are concerned, let somebody comment after they have seen the movie. We’ll be happy to get feedback,” Ronnie had said.
Kedarnath marks Sara Ali Khan’s debut in Bollywood and released on December 7.