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Vidhu Vinod Chopra: Those criticising ‘Shikara’ are donkeys

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vidhu vinod chopra

Mumbai, Feb 12 : Filmmaker-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra has lashed out at people criticising his new film “Shikara”. He says those who have accused him of commercialising the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in the film are “gadhe” (donkeys).

” ‘3 Idiots’, which I produced earned Rs 33 crore on its first day of release, and we knew the first day collection of ‘Shikara’ will be 30 lakh. Despite that we gave 11 years of our life to make this film. I feel today things are very funny because I’ve made films that collected Rs 30 crore on its first day, and when I make a film that collects Rs 30 lakh on its first day in the memory of my mother, people say I have commercialised the pain of Kashmiri people. I feel people who think that way are gadhe (donkeys), and that’s why I want to tell you, don’t be donkeys. First see the film and then form your opinions,” Chopra said during a visit to Mumbai’s KC College to promote “Shikara” along with the film’s lead cast Aadil Khan and Sadia.

“Shikara” is about the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in early 1990, in the wake of violent Islamist insurgency. The film was highly anticipated because the veteran filmmaker Chopra hails from the state.

After the film’s release, however, certain sections of people called out the film and its director Chopra. A video of a Kashmiri Pandit woman lashing out at the director at a screening in Delhi went viral. Calling it a “ghatiya” film and disowning it, she is seen saying the movie was too commercialised and not authentic.

The hashtag #BoycottShikara started trending on Twitter, and people were accusing Chopra of going soft on the subject rather than give an unflinching account of the horrific atrocities that Kashmiri Pandits suffered.

Chopra said renowned Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron has praised his film: “This film opened with great reviews everywhere. I presume you would have heard about a man called James Cameron who has directed ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’. He called this film as a masterpiece in a four-page letter. In India, the film released to full houses and great reviews. Then, suddenly all this hate wave comes up.”

He added: “I am not on Twitter or on any social media. What came as a big surprise for us is that our rating on IMDb, which was around eight or nine, dropped to one. We found that on all these social media platforms, people have started putting up videos and saying ‘this how you press the button to give the film a one-star rating’.”

Chopra said “Shikara” is close to his heart: “This is a very special film and this film talks about events that happened even before all of you (students) were born. Around 30 years back, four lakh Kashmiris were thrown out of their homeland, and my mother was one of them. I am technically a refugee in my own country because I am from Kashmir.”

He added that he never compromised on anything while making films in his career. “All my life I have never compromised on films I have made, whether it is ‘3 Idiots’ or the ‘Munna Bhai’ series or ‘Shikara’. In every film, I tried and give you guys a message. In ‘Munna Bhai’, I talked about ‘Jaadu ki jhappi’ and in ‘3 Idiots’ I gave critical advice to students, to chase excellence and success will follow. I am happy to say that many lives changed with that film,” he pointed out.

Chopra felt “Shikara” would have the same impact. “In the same way, in ‘Shikara’ we have a message that says, ‘todo nahin, jodo’ (don’t break, unite) because we are at a stage in life where it is becoming a norm to say, ‘don’t unite, break’. Everything is breaking, be it systems or cities. I would urge you to watch this film and spread the message of this film because you (students) are the future. If you like the films, then go to social media and fix that rubbish (criticism about Shikara), and if you don’t like the film then also remember message of the film,” he said.

Chopra on Sunday had penned an open letter on Facebook to counter all criticism against his film. In the letter, the filmmaker elaborated on the sufferings that he, along with his family members, had to suffer when they were driven out of their homeland as a result of being targeted by Islamist insurgents three decades ago. He described the accusations as “nonsensical” and also urged people to not repeat past mistakes.

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Break The Silence For Sushant trends as fans allege foul play in actor’s death

Several fans of the actor have also called for the boycotting of films featuring star kids over the past couple of weeks.

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Sushant Singh Rajput No More

Mumbai, July 3 : The hashtag #BreakTheSilenceForSushant has been trending on Twitter throughout Friday, as fans of the deceased actor believe his death did not happen by suicide.

Even though Sushant Singh Rajput”s postmortem report states his death was a “clear case of suicide”, fans do not seem convinced. They are also requesting for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the actor”s death.

“#BreakTheSilenceForSushant We need to know the reason behind his death.. We need cbi enquiry,” tweeted a user.

“To this edge who is behind this crime is influential and important, since they did not listen to all this pressure, their lack of response assures us that it is a planned crime, and we will not silent until justice is done for him. #BreakTheSilenceForSushant #CBIMustForSushant,” tweeted another user.

“Raise your Voice Guys As much as you can for Justice for #SushantSinghRajpoot. He is murdered very Brutally by his own trustworthy Friends,” alleged another user.

BreakTheSilenceForSushant. We are United here for him Because he suffered a lot, Raise Your Voice RIGHT NOW, Before Someone becomes another Victim. WE REALLY WANT JUSTICE NOT POLITICS ANYMORE… #BreakTheSilenceForSushant,” urged another user.

Several fans of the actor have also called for the boycotting of films featuring star kids over the past couple of weeks.

“Let”s all take a pledge that we will not watch nepotism and star kid movies any more. With this we will give justice to Sushant Singh Rajput. #BreakTheSilenceForSushant. No one will stop the voice of justice for Sushant untill convincing justice not given,” tweeted a fan.

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Ekta Kapoor: People watched ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ even during Gujarat quake

Along with it, Ekta posted a video clip of the show”s title track.

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Mumbai, July 3 : Producer Ekta Kapoor is celebrating 20 years of her popular TV show “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”.

On Friday, Ekta took to Instagram and penned a lengthy note, recalling working on the daily soap, which successfully ran for eight long years.

“20 years today to ”Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi…!”I remember sitting nervously in front of Sameer sir and Tarun pitching ”Kyunki…” to them. Telling them ”saas-bahu” drama could work…and that we were willing to do it in 1lac. Then Tarun called my mum and said ”I”m calling to negotiate”… my mum said ”No no, we can”t do it in under a lac…” and he responded saying, ”Sameer Nair has said we will give you 1.40 lac for it…pls spend on this show!”

“Never has it happened that a channel has negotiated and given more money because they wanted better quality. But that was the conviction and backing the channel gave us. For the first time a daily soap was on prime time and went onto make history, as we know it,” Ekta wrote.

The show revolved around an ideal daughter-in-law Tulsi Virani, the daughter of a pandit, married to the grandson of rich business tycoon Govardhan Virani. The role of the protagonist Tulsi Virani was played by Smriti Irani.

Ekta also shared how people of Gujarat watched the show even when there was an earthquake.

“A show that changed my life. Back then it was touted as India”s ”soft ambassador”, owing to its popularity and reach across the globe. Thank you to the network for giving us a chance at that time. I remember reading about how when the Gujarat earthquake happened, ppl put their TV sets out and watched Kyunki. There hasn”t been a more humbling moment for me. Thank you for all the love that was sent our way,” she concluded.

Along with it, Ekta posted a video clip of the show”s title track.

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Saroj Khan will live in history of choreography for Indian cinema: Subhash Ghai

She was an integral part of our Mukta Arts family-She was my strong partner in grooming stars like Madhuri Meenakshi, Manisha and Aishwarya. Master of masters.

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Saroj Khan Death

Mumbai, July 3 : Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has described prolific choreographer Saroj Khans death as a “personal loss”, and said that she will forever live in the history of choreography in Indian cinema.

Almost all the biggest films in Ghai”s career had Saroj Khan calling the shots for some of the biggest dance hits in his films. These include “Hero” (1983), “Karma” (1986), “Ram Lakhan” (1989), “Khalnayak” (1993), “Pardes” (1997), “Taal” (1999), “Yaadein” (2001) and “Kisna” (2005).

On Friday, Ghai shared an emotional video talking about Saroj Khan, who passed away after a cardiac arrest in the early hours at the age of 71.

“Saroj Khan. My biggest personal loss. An integral part of my journey in cinema — Sarojji. Keeping alive classical dance in Hindi cinema was Saroj Khan. Change has come and change will come, but Saroj Khan will not. We all have become masters by becoming her students. Cinema will always remember her. What do I say, I have no words. I am saddened,” he said in the video.

Alongside the video he also shared a message, where he said that she was a strong partner in grooming stars like Meenakshi Sheshadri, Madhuri Dixit, Manisha Koirala and Aishwarya Rai.

Meenakshi Sheshadri became an overnight star after “Hero”, Ghai”s musical blockbuster of 1983. Madhuri worked in the Ghai hits “Ram Lakhan” and “Khalnayak”, both of which had superhit dances choreographed by Saroj Khan. Manisha Koirala made her debut in Ghai’s 1991 hit “Saudagar”, which had several hit song-and-dance sequences, while Aishwarya Rai’s dances in “Taal” continue to be a rage to this day.

“An era has gone. Absolutely my personal loss. She was an integral part of our Mukta Arts family-She was my strong partner in grooming stars like Madhuri Meenakshi, Manisha and Aishwarya. Master of masters. Saroj Khan will live in the history of choreography for Indian cinema indeed. Bye Jaan. RIP,” said Ghai.

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