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Home >News >India >Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ runs into trouble

New Delhi: Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s biographical drama Gangubai Kathiawadi has run into trouble with both the director and lead actor Alia Bhatt being summoned by court on 21 May in a criminal defamation case.

The case has been filed by Babu Rawji Shah, who claims to be the adopted son of Gangubai, the brothel queen of Mumbai’s red-light district Kamathipura, on whose life the movie is based.

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The movie is adapted from a chapter in author Hussain Zaidi's book, Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Shah has claimed that the book, as well as the movie, are defamatory and tarnish Gangubai’s reputation. He had earlier filed a civil suit seeking a restraining order against Zaidi from publishing the book and also wanted the movie's makers to not air promotional material.

To be sure, Bhansali is no stranger to controversies. His period drama Padmaavat (earlier titled Padmavati) had incited the ire of several Rajput caste organisations, including Shri Rajput Karni Sena, whose members had vandalised the film’s sets claiming that the movie portrays Padmavati, a Rajput queen, in bad light. They had also assaulted Bhansali on the film’s set.

Several Muslim leaders had also protested against the alleged misrepresentation of Ala-ud-din Khilji and called for a ban. In the run-up up to the film's release in late 2017, there were violent protests and riots in several parts of India with Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone receiving threats of violence. The Central Board of Film Certification later approved the film with a few changes, which included the addition of multiple disclaimers and a change from its original title Padmavati, leading to a delay in its release. Post CBFC approval with U/A certification, the film got banned by the chief ministers of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana in order to maintain law and order and avert protests in their states.

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