After its vehement clampdown against Pakistani stars, Shiv Sena has turned its attention towards India's own artistes, namely director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his allegedly wrongful portrayal of Marathi general Peshwa Bajirao in his upcoming magnum opus Bajirao Mastani.
Last week, Bajirao and Mastani's descendants had taken exception to the film's "vulgar" song videos and unrealistic trailer.
The film, which stars Ranveer Singh (Bajirao), Deepika Padukone (Mastani) and Priyanka Chopra (as Bajirao's first wife Kashibai), is slated for a December 18 release, but Shiv Sena is now calling for a temporary ban on the film.
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik has protested that the Marathi people's feelings aare hurt by this wrongful portrayal in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He also insisted that the movie should only be released after it has been shown to the descendants and their complaints have been addressed.
Talking to The Indian Express, Sarnaik said that the film's trailer and song videos show a lack of research: “[The film] is not being made on a fictitious character. Peshwa Bajirao is a revered icon and legendary warrior for all Maharashtrians. To show such a legendary figure dancing while vigorously moving his Shendi in the song 'Malhari' is highly unacceptable. We don’t even dance like that during Ganpati celebrations.”
He also said, "The CM has acknowledged my letter and ordered an enquiry into the same. Sanjay Leela Bhansali should have considered the views and opinions of the Peshwa descendants and respected our Marathi sentiments while making the film."
The descendants' objections to Bajirao Mastani last week were met by silence on Bhansali's part, and Sarnaik now insists that the film only be released after their complaints are addressed.