Saif Ali Khan is in hot water for his comment that his upcoming mythological epic Adipurush will make Ravana humane and justify his abduction of Sita. An advocate from Uttar Pradesh has filed a case against the actor and director Om Raut for hurting religious sentiments. Saif Ali Khan had retracted his statement and issued an apology after facing backlash.
Saif Ali Khan will play the antagonist Lankesh, based on Ravana in the Om Raut directorial. South Indian star Prabhas will be seen in a role inspired by Lord Rama.
The plea will be heard in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh, sources said. 23 December has been fixed as the hearing date.
Himanshu Srivastava, a civil court advocate, introduced himself in his petition as a believer of the “sanatana dharma” (a term referring to Hinduism that has been in currency for about two decades, preferred by Hindus who consider the description “Hindu” foreign and hold that theirs is not a religion). He said that traditionally, Lord Rama is considered a symbol of good, while Raavan is viewed as evil.
Saif Ali Khan, who is playing a character based on Ravana in Adipurush, had said in an interview with media channel earlier this month, “It’s interesting to play a demon king, less strictures in that. But we will make him humane, up the entertainment quotient, justify his abduction of Sita and the war with Rama as revenge for what was done to his sister Surpanakha by Lakshmana, who cut off his nose.” However, after facing backlash, he retracted his statement.
Himanshu claimed that the interview was a negative portrayal of ‘faith in sanatana dharma’. He added that witnesses Vinod Srivastava, Ajit Singh, Brijesh Nishad, Nilesh Nishad, Surya Prakash Singh and Vivek Tiwari saw the interview online on 9 December and their religious sentiments were hurt as well.
Saif Ali Khan recanted his remarks after many, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Kadam, objected to it. In a statement, he said, “I’ve been made aware that one of my statements during an interview, has caused a controversy and hurt people’s sentiments. This was never my intention or meant that way. I would like to sincerely apologise to everybody and withdraw my statement. Lord Rama has always been the symbol of Righteousness & Heroism for me. Adipurush is about celebrating the victory of good over evil and the entire team is working together to present the epic without any distortions.”