Indian nationalists threaten agitation against Salman Khan's Tiger Zinda Hai

Indian nationalists threaten agitation against Salman Khan's Tiger Zinda Hai

The MNS warns using 'special language' if Marathi film Deva is not played alongside Tiger as both release same day
20 Dec, 2017

The Indian nationalist party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is at it again, but not for anti-Pakistan reasons this time around, thankfully.

The English-language daily Times of India (TOI) reported MNS sent letters on Tuesday to film exhibitors "threatening an agitation" against the Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai if cinema halls are not made available for the prime time release of Deva, a Marathi feature film. Both films are scheduled for release this Friday, December 22.

As per TOI, the MNS has warned its party workers will take to the streets and besiege cinema halls if Deva is not screened but Tiger is.

In response, multiplex owners have said the big-ticketed Yash Raj Films production will be screened as per schedule. A theatre manager in suburban Mumbai told TOI it was impossible to "pull out a Salman Khan film, which has come like a ray of sunshine at the end of the year".

"He has the largest fan-following among all the stars in India so the first three days are always houseful," the theatre manager said.

"Moreover, we have had bleak collections in the past two months with not a single picture doing good business," he said.

"Padmavati was slated for release on December 1 but it has been deferred as well. At this rate, we will have to close down."

When asked about the violent threats, he said it is the duty of the police and the state to make a decision and handle the situation collectively.

Gachchi is another Marathi film that's ready for release but struggling to find cinema halls.

Ameya Khopkar, who leads the film cell of MNS, accused the Yash Raj banner of hogging cinema halls, not allowing for equal distribution of Marathi films.

"We are here to serve the cause of Marathi... We urge you to co-exist peacefully with Marathi filmmakers," Khopkar said. "If you fail to understand this language of reconciliation, then we will have to talk to you in our 'special' language," the letter warned.

"We want the state government to end the misery of Marathi filmmakers. We will start our stir if the government fails to take action against the makers of Tiger Zinda Hai," a senior MNS functionary told TOI. Maharashtra's Minister Vinod Tawde has also been informed of the situation, they added.

In his response, Tawde said, "The government has already set rules and norms for prime time slot for Marathi cinema. If there is violation, the government will step in and take stern action."

The MNS has objected to many big-banner mainstream Hindi films in the past as well. In October 2016, the party made hue and cry against Karan Johar for signing up Pakistan's Fawad Khan for a role in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil amidst the tension on the border. Though that tiff was settled thanks to a series of negotiations and a donation by Johar to the Indian army, the party again kicked up a storm around Shah Rukh Khan and Mahira-starrer Raees.

"Surprisingly, the MNS has upheld Sanjay Leela Bhansali's right to creative freedom and has opposed ban on Padmavati," TOI reports.


Aman Dec 20, 2017 05:27pm
And they have the nerve to say that we have problems ...
Leo Dec 20, 2017 07:00pm
Why can't people mind their own businesses?
Prince Dec 20, 2017 07:17pm
Marathi is a state language of Maharashtra....... At the last MNS agitation against multiplex, they agreed they provide certain screen to Marathi movies.. and now they are backing out ... if this going to happen, where Marathi movies would be screened?
TanMaharashtraMay Dec 20, 2017 08:47pm
A very valid demand. Why can't Marathi language and Marathi Language Films be given prime importance in Maharashtra itself?
Prithviraj Dec 20, 2017 09:24pm
Marathi film industry is dead just because of this Bollywood. Good work MNS.
Chungaizee Dec 21, 2017 01:31am
I think cinema owners would be in a better position to make a call on this one.
Osayed Rehman Dec 21, 2017 01:37am
... And we sitting in Pakistan should be concerned?
Arun Dec 21, 2017 02:58am
We don't want to lose our regional cinema like Pakistan lose from bollywood, like Rajasthani movies etc
AXH Dec 21, 2017 08:26am
So, what is new here?
SP Dec 21, 2017 09:23am
@TanMaharashtraMay Agree. Own language films are of prime importance.
Mohd. atta Dec 21, 2017 09:30am
Nothing new in it. People will watch it anyway. Pakistan is not allowing it to release either!!!!
Ahmad Dec 21, 2017 10:24am
So cinemas must not be given free choice to select movies that they want to show. I thought India was a free country.
Jai22 Dec 21, 2017 10:34am
It's business. If there is no demand for Marathi films, then why must cinema hall owners be forced to show Marathi movies. The MNS is forcing cinema theatre owners to incur losses in their business, all for petty political gains.
kerala Dec 21, 2017 11:00am
Bollywood can take this business to hindi belt instead of clinging to Maharashtra. We all should promote marathi or any regional film and MNS demands are valid. Some 1:4 ratio is the demand that is 1 slot for Devaa and 4 slots for Hindi film if there is total 5 shows. I think it is very much within rights
Syed irfan ali Dec 21, 2017 12:46pm
Surprisingly, the MNS has upheld Sanjay Leela Bhansali's right to creative freedom and has opposed ban on Padmavati. Do you want to know the reason? Sanjay Leela Bhansali is Marathi.
BNJ Dec 21, 2017 12:49pm
The demand is justified. It is the job of the multiplex owners to provide screens on prime time to Marathi film in the state of Maharashtra. Nothing wrong in it.
Uzair Dec 21, 2017 02:12pm
@TanMaharashtraMay I'm pretty sure that cinemas aren't political entities or public funded and run institutions that may be required to provide equality regardless if it is merited or not. If one film makes them more money, that is the way they'll go. If they'd like to promote Marathi language films, who is stopping them to make their own cinemas?
Reza Irani Dec 21, 2017 04:31pm
@Uzair : Sorry for your misunderstanding. Cinema's are regarded public utilities and derive certain benefits from the state on the conditions which they have already signed to promote regional cinema. Their not giving screens is theft.