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EntertainmentHindu rising: Akshay Kumar's Bachchhan Paandey stopped by viewers wanting to see...

Hindu rising: Akshay Kumar’s Bachchhan Paandey stopped by viewers wanting to see The Kashmir Files

Why the Hindu audience has developed a distaste for Akshay Kumar — despite his famous interview with PM Narendra Modi and stand for patriotic causes — explained

Gone are the days when Bollywood, the industry’s communists, Islamists and made-up patriots alike, would sell makebelieve of noble Muslims and evil Hindus and the audience would take it lying down. Even Akshay Kumar, who praised Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files recently and lauded the film for bringing the audience “back to the theatres”, will not be spared. Fans of the actor were left fuming at a theatre in Odisha.

A video that has gone viral online shows a crowd wearing saffron scarves interrupting a screening of Akshay’s Bachchhan Paandey and threatening the hall owner of consequences if they did not screen The Kashmir Files. According to reports, the crowd forcefully stopped the screening of Bachchhan Paandey and demanded that The Kashmir Files be screened.

Film critic Sumit Kadel had tweeted the video (from Sambalpur), and wrote, “Reportedly in Bhubneshwar a mob forcefully stopped the screening of #BachchhanPaandey .. This is totally UNFAIR and UNETHICAL .. #TheKashmirFiles is doing exceptionally well, why to sabotage other movie like this. (sic).”

It is pertinent to note here that The Kashmir Files struggled to find distributors who were ready to tell the story of persecution in the hands of Muslims — until the word of mouth for the film spread like wildfire and most theatres could no longer ignore the promise of big moolah coming from the box office.

While the incident was captured on camera, this was not a stray or sporadic incident. According to Hungama, an exhibitor claimed that groups ranging from 10 to 100 people were creating ruckus on the premises. One such group fought with the theatre staff claiming that a scene was cut from the film.

“How can a theatre manager cut any scene from any film?” the exhibitor said to the portal.
Akshay’s film took a beating over the weekend. The film earned a measly Rs 34 crore on its first weekend. Meanwhile, The Kashmir Files has earned an estimated Rs 180 crore in 11 days.

The film that has been mired in controversy received the backing of Akshay Kumar last week. The actor, who was busy promoting his film, penned a note of appreciation for Anupam Kher and The Kashmir Files.

In a tweet, Akshay wrote, “ absolutely incredible things about your performance in #TheKashmirFiles @AnupamPKher amazing to see the audience back to the cinemas in large numbers. Hope to watch the film soon. Jai Ambe.”

Bachchhan Paandey was released on 11 March along with Prabhas’s Radhe Shyam. Both the films tanked as the audience was in the mood only for The Kashmir Files.

Editor’s note: The crowd has of late been circumspect about the overtures of Akshay Kumar for quite a few reasons, his famous interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and standing for the cause of the country’s paramilitary forces notwithstanding. One is his Canadian citizenship. Second, while he purportedly stands for patriotism, his wife Twinkle Khanna is infamous for her woke column in a newspaper. Three, his recent venture Suryavanshi (director Rohit Shetty) justified terrorism, with another personality Ajay Devgn’s character justifying terrorism by saying the forefathers of Hindus had been unfair to Muslims, the cost of which today’s Hindus must pay.

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