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September 25, 2023
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Amid Pathaan row, I&B Minister Anurag Thakur says boycott culture spoils atmosphere: ‘This should not happen’

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his party members to avoid making ‘unnecessary remarks’ about any film, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur echoed his sentiments and said calls for boycott of films only end up spoiling the atmosphere. His comments come as Shah Rukh Khan’s new film Pathaan has faced calls for boycott for weeks before its release. Pathaan is currently running in theatres.

On Friday, while inaugurating the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Film Festival in Mumbai, Anurag Thakur addressed the recent trend of Bollywood films facing boycott calls. “At a time when India is keen to enhance its influence as a soft power, at a time when Indian films are making waves in every corner of the world, such talk vitiates the atmosphere,” he said.

Thakur added that the comments about films that generate controversy are often made without full knowledge of the issue and added that such things should be avoided. He further said, “But sometimes, just to vitiate the atmosphere, some people comment on something even before knowing about it fully. That causes problems. This should not happen.”

Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand, stars Shah Rukh as the titular spy and also features Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. The film first courted controversy after its song Besharam Rang was released in December. Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra alleged that the song hurt religious sentiments. The film faced protests in some quarters from organizations in the subsequent days. Even on the day of the film’s release, protesters tore down the posters and vandalized cinema halls in several cities. However, outside stray incidents, the release went ahead smoothly.

Despite the protests, Pathaan has seen a bumper opening at the box office. The film has grossed Rs 219 crore worldwide in its first two days, breaking all Bollywood opening records in the process. The film is on course to be the highest-grossing Hindi film post-pandemic.


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