Locals stormed the screening of Akshay Kumar’s Bachchhan Paandey at the Eylex Cinema hall in Sambalpur, Odisha, after the show of The Kashmir Files scheduled that day was cancelled. The show was purportedly cancelled because of some issues the cinema hall had with the distributor.
The issue was later resolved and The Kashmir Files shows were scheduled again. Several people shared videos of the incident on social media wherein a mob can be seen walking around the theatre chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and slogans about the right-wing group Bajrang Dal.
Film critic Sumit Kadel had tweeted the video (from Sambalpur), and wrote, “Reportedly in Bhubneshwar a mob forcefully stopped the screening of #BachchhanPaandey .. This is totally UNFAIR and UNETHICAL .. #TheKashmirFiles is doing exceptionally well, why to sabotage other movie like this. (sic).”
Another user wrote, "Akshay Kumar’s movie #BachchanPandey screening forcefully stopped by a mob in Bhubneshwar so that they can screen #KashmirFiles Btw Mango season has started Akshay bhai."
After Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Kashmir Files released in theatres, several videos surfaced online of people in theatres sloganeering and making anti-Muslim hate speeches. The film is about the Kashmiri Pandit exodus in the 1990s.
The film has been performing well at the box office and was even praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the film has also been accused of historical revisionism and propaganda.
Netizens Ask, 'Why Were Films About Gujarat Riots Banned?'
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the Delhi Police has been asked to employ a security detail in areas with a “mixed population” to avoid untoward incidents following the release of the movie.
The film was also declared tax-free in several Indian states including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Goa. Soon after, netizens had wondered why Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania, based on the true story of Azhar Mody whose son went missing during the 2002 Gujarat riots, was banned in Gujarat despite censor board clearance.
People also wondered why Nandita Das' Firaaq, which also followed the aftermath of the 2002 riots, was banned in the state.
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