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Gujarat HC to watch Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan’s debut film Maharaj amid religious sentiment concerns: Report

en Bollywood News Gujarat HC to watch Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan’s debut film Maharaj amid religious sentiment concerns: Report

Previously, the petitioners approached the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, urging them to block the film's release. However, their request went unanswered.

The Gujarat High Court is considering whether to watch Maharaj, the debut film of Bollywood star Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan, to determine if it should be released on Netflix. The film's release has been challenged by members of the Pushtimarg sect, who claim it hurts their religious sentiments.

Gujarat HC to watch Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan's debut film Maharaj amid religious sentiment concerns: Report

Gujarat HC to watch Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan’s debut film Maharaj amid religious sentiment concerns: Report

According to a report in NDTV, Justice Sangeeta Vishen's court extended the interim stay on the movie's release for another day and scheduled further hearings for Thursday. The move came after Yash Raj Films (YRF), the film's producer, offered to provide the court with a link and password to view the movie. This would help them decide if it indeed portrays content offensive to a particular religious community, as argued by the petitioners.

Maharaj is based on a controversial 1862 libel case involving a Vaishnavite religious leader and social reformer Karsandas Mulji. Mulji, in a Gujarati weekly article, accused the godman of having inappropriate relationships with his female devotees. The petitioners believe the British judges who decided the case made "blasphemous comments" against Lord Krishna and devotional hymns, potentially impacting their religious sentiments.

The court will now decide whether to avail itself of the opportunity to watch the film. Both parties – the petitioners and YRF – have agreed that viewing the movie wouldn't prevent them from raising other legal arguments concerning the petition's validity.

“We will provide the link if the court deems it necessary after hearing arguments from both sides,” said Shalin Mehta, lawyer for YRF. Advocate Mihir Joshi, representing the petitioners, echoed this sentiment, stating they have no objection to the court watching the film to make an informed decision. He emphasized their desire for a swift resolution, saying, “If the movie doesn't disrespect our religion, they should allow its release. We don't want to delay this any further.”

The petitioners argue that allowing the film's release would “seriously hurt” their religious beliefs and potentially disrupt public order, even inciting violence against their community. They claim the movie could violate the Information Technology Rules' code of ethics and the Over the Top (OTT) platform's self-regulation code by promoting hatred and violence against the Pushtimarg sect.

Previously, the petitioners approached the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, urging them to block the film's release. However, their request went unanswered.

Set in pre-independence India (1862), the film narrates the fight of Karsandas Mulji, a journalist, and social reformer. Stepping into the shoes of Mulji is Junaid Khan, marking his debut as the son of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. With just three universities established and the embers of the Sepoy Mutiny still smouldering, India grappled with social and political change. Mulji, a young man studying in Mumbai, emerges as a champion for the marginalized, inspired by his mentor, scholar-leader Dadabhai Naoroji. His unwavering commitment to justice leads him to confront a powerful figure in the infamous Maharaj Libel Case.

Maharaj aims to resurrect Mulji's bravery and bring his story to a modern audience. However, the film's portrayal of a Hindu religious leader has sparked controversy.

ALSO READ: Junaid Khan and Jaideep Ahlawat starrer Maharaj gets temporary stay order from Gujarat High Court; release uncertain on June 14: Report


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