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Anurag Kashyap on Manmarziyaan Controversy: Don’t Make it Political Because It’s Not

Anurag Kashyap says he had no intention of hurting any person or religious community with his film Manmarziyaan.

Updated:September 19, 2018, 1:38 PM IST
Anurag Kashyap on Manmarziyaan Controversy: Don’t Make it Political Because It’s Not
Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan has been inviting a lot of wrath from the Sikh community. (Image: Instagram/Anurag Kashyap)
After members of the Sikh community taking offence to the scene in Manmarziyaan that shows Abhishek Bachchan smoking a cigarette, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has finally broken his silence on the controversy.

Notably, Abhishek plays Robbie, a Sikh, in the film. The smoking scene has offended many Sikhs, who have slammed Kashyap for showing the community in a poor light.

Kashyap tweeted a long statement on Wednesday, saying, “This film is not commenting on a community, it talks about individuals and their choices. Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion.”

He goes on to explain how his team “asked for guidance from Sikh people every step of the way.”

“When we shot the sequence in gurudwara, we were told we can’t shoot them getting married as it can’t be faked so me made the actors do only ‘mattha tekna’. When we were shooting scenes, no member of crew was allowed to smoke inside the houses.”

Giving an explanation of the care that went behind shooting the now controversial smoking scene, the 46-year-old wrote, “It was shot on the street and there were close to 150 people watching the shoot. We asked before doing the scene and were told that he has to take the Turban off before he smokes away from his house. We were also shown how Robbie should take the turban off with both hands and how he should hand it over and how the cousin should take it. Most of the 150 people in the crowd were Sikhs and we were told that’s how it is.”

Known for portraying on screen life as is, Kashyap further added, “We created what we saw with our own eyes and after discussion. We wanted to show things the way they are. I have always put out things the way they are without an agenda.”

He also praised the people of Amritsar for opening “their hearts and doors” to the film’s crew. “It was never the intention to hurt the community and why would we do that when we got so much love from them. No religion teaches crime or anything anti-humanity, yet those things happen. It doesn’t mean they are offending the religion.”

To those demanding that the scene be cut from the film, he said, “Technology does not allow us to cut a scene and it affects the storytelling. So I definitely can not do that now.”

He ended the note with an apology to everyone who he has hurt unintentionally. “I am sorry if anyone feels genuinely hurt but I would also request that please don’t make this unnecessary political because it’s not. To those whose hurt is genuine, I offer a genuine apology, that wasn’t my intention. And for those who are doing it for attention, I am glad you have got the attention.”
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