Anyone who says that every Indian has the freedom to express himself/herself doesn’t know India well. The nature of this fundamental right is mythical and deceiving as you cannot openly exhibit your feelings without hurting the sentiments of one religious group or another. Several historians, artists and authors have registered their displeasure over this growing intolerance.
But, no one has perfected the art of protest better than the Shiv Sena. It’s a party of lumpens who never shy away from intimidating or coercing people to create fear in the minds of people. They have always used violent protests and threats against their opponents or people who disagree with them ideologically. Their sole modus operandi is to first get offended and then create unnecessary propaganda.
Bollywood has always been on the forefront to bear the ire of disgruntled shivsainiks. The latest addition to this charade is the movie Raees which stars Mahira Khan, a Pakistani actress. The party’s latest agenda is to disrupt any event involving a Pakistani national.
Here is a list of mainstream Bollywood movies which had the distinctive honor of having a protest by Shiv Sena against their name:
1) Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
Everything was going right for Bajrangi Bhaijaan before actor Salman Khan tweeted in favor of Yakub Memon saying the real culprit Tiger Memon should be brought to justice instead. The tweet created a huge controversy and Shiv Sena demanded to stop the screening of movie and charge the actor with treason.
2) Mohalla Assi (2015)
The Sunny Deol starrer landed into trouble over scenes where Lord Shiva’s character has been using abusive dialogues. The depiction of Varanasi, the holy city of India, was also a reason for the Film’s criticism as the Shivsainiks thought that the movie shows the city in bad light.
3) PK (2014)
PK had the distinction of bringing several religious groups together to join the chorus which demanded to stop the movie screening across India. Shiv Sena vehemently opposed the release of movie and staged protests in several cities. Other groups like Bajrang Dal and VHP too were determined in their protest and vandalized some theaters which screened the movie.
Public Interest Litigations (PIL) were filed against the movie saying that it hurts the religious sentiments of Hindu community.
4) Oh My God (2012)
Another satirical movie mocking the age old religious practices of Hinduism didn’t go well with various Hindu religious groups. Once again, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal activists came to the rescue of the values and traditions of Indian culture.
5) My Name Is Khan (2010)
Shahrukh Khan is not alien to controversies and he himself has been a part of a handful of them. His movie My Name is Khan faced violent protests from Shiv Sena when the actor made a controversial statement regarding selection of Pakistani players in Indian Premier League (IPL). The chauvinistic party demanded an immediate ban on the movie and vandalized theaters.
6) Fire (1998)
What can be said about Deepa Mehta’s Fire? The film revolved around the desires of Indian women and their need for fulfillment which involved sex among other things. The film portrayed lesbianism which is still considered a crime in Indian society. As usual Shiv Sena needed reasons for protest and they found too many in this controversial drama.
Now, just when you thought that Shiv Sena is against every movie produced in Bollywood, shivsainiks will surprise you yet again.
The above image shows a Shiv Sena activist exhorting cinema lovers to watch the movie Gadar.