Amid violent protests in Bajrang Dal in Assam over Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan to be released on 25 January, Prime Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said “Who is Shah Rukh Khan? I don’t know anything about him or his film Pathaan.” said. An Assamese film, Dr Bezbarua -Part 2, will also be released and should be seen by the people of Assamese, the prime minister said when asked to comment on a protest at a municipal theater in Narengi. Himanta said many Bollywood stars had contacted him ahead of the film’s release in case there were protests, but Shah Rukh Khan did not call him. “Khan didn’t call me, but a lot of people in Bollywood have called about the matter. But if he does, I will look into the matter. It’s a violation of law and order and if a case is filed, action will be taken.” As reported by Himanta news agency PTI.
Pathaan faced protests from Hindutva groups with Deepika singing Besharam Rang wearing a saffron bikini. The censorship board proposed several changes following the protests, and now the film is ready to hit screens with much fanfare.
Bajrang Dal said the film would not be allowed to be released in Gujarat as it “blasphemes” the Hindu religion. The owner of a multiplex in Gujarat has sought protection for the state’s theater.
Several BJP leaders opposed the Besharam Rang song, including Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, known for his strong Hindutva stance. The Pathaan line was believed to have been directly touched by Prime Minister Modi as he advised BJP leaders to refrain from unnecessary commentary on the film.