Bajrang Dal workers on 24 October vandalised the shooting sets of Prakash Jha’s upcoming web series Ashram 3 in Bhopal and threw ink at the director, news agency ANI reported. Bajrang Dal workers demanded that the name of the show has to be changed from Ashram. Otherwise, the shooting will not be allowed to go on in the state, Bajrang Dal Bhopal leader Sushil Sudele said.
Prakash Jha’s Ashram is accused of defaming Hinduism by portraying a sadhu who is actually a con man. Protesters have dared the filmmaker to depict the holy men of Christianity and Islam similarly. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Disney+Hotstar, MX Player, Zee5 etc have been accused too ― of providing channel to further anti-Hindu propaganda.
“We want the film industry to be promoted here in Madhya Pradesh. People should get employment, but this land should not be used to humiliate Hindu samaj. In the earlier instalment of the series, it was shown that women are exploited inside Ashram, is it so? Stop defaming Hindus and if he wants to gain popularity then why not name any other religion and see the number of protests that happen,” the Bajrang Dal leader said.
Reports said as the workers went on a rampage on the sets, they shouted Prakash Jha Murdabad, Bobby Deol Murdabad and Jai Shri Ram. They said that they were looking for Bobby Deol, the main character of the series. Bobby Deol should learn something from his brother Sunny Deol, they said.
Vehicles of the shooting party were stopped and the Bajrang Dal workers pelted stones at them, leaving some crew members injured. Police said no one was fatally injured and appropriate action will be taken against those responsible for Sunday’s vandalism. Irshad Wali, DIG Bhopal, clarified, “All the miscreants have been shunned from the premises and no one has been fatally injured, though some vehicles have been damaged. Further action will be taken against those responsible.”
“I want to assure everyone that a similar situation will not be repeated again,” he said to ANI.
“We have given only a warning for now and Prakash Raj has said that he is in talks to change the show’s title,” Sushil Sudele said, adding “I repeat the show’s name will have to be changed from Ashram or won’t be filmed here in Bhopal.”
Bobby Deol plays the role of Baba Nirala who is a godman and also a conman. The first season of the web series was released in August 2020 on the OTT platform MX player. This is not Ashram’s first brush with controversy as a Jodhpur court in 2020 issued notice to Bobby Deol and Prakash Jha after an advocate moved the court claiming that the series hurts religious sentiments. Rajasthan Police earlier booked the makers of the series for allegedly promoting discrimination against SC/STs.