Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s newest directorial Gangubai Kathiawadi which is yet to hit the screens ad stars Alia Bhatt in the lead is yet again in another controversy. And this time it is because the real life Gangubai;’s family has expressed displaeasure over the content of the film and has accused the makers of the film of defaming a woman.
yes, you read it right. Well, Ganguabi’s adopted son babu Raoji Shah and her grand-daughter Bharti have slammed the film and its makers.
In an interaction with Aaj Tak Babu Raoji Shah said, “My mother has been turned into a prostitute. People are now saying inexplicable things about my mother.” Ganguabai’s family lawye has stated that the entire family is in shock ever since the traielr of the film was released. The lawyer stated, “The way Gangubai was portrayed is completely wrong and baseless. It is vulgar. You are representing a social activist as a prostitute. Which family would like it? You have made her [Gangubai] a vamp and lady don.”
He further went on to reveal that the case that has been filed by Babu Raoji is still pending because people are asking for proof that Babu Raoji is indeed Ganubai’s son. The lawyer revealed, “The issue with our [legal] system here is that instead of doing something about the gross misrepresentation, you are asked to produce proof that the son is indeed Gangubai’s son. Although we have proved it in court, there is no hearing in this matter now.”
The lawyer further stated, “Our fight started in 2020 when his son [Babu Raoji Shah] came to know that a film was being made on the life of Gangubai after seeing the picture of his mother in the promo of the film. Since then, the family has been in hiding. They are shifting homes, moving to Andheri or Borivali. Many relatives have raised questions over the portrayal, asking the family if Gangubai was really a prostitute and not a social worker, as they had said. The family’s mental state is not good. No one is able to live in peace.”
The lawyer ha salso stated that the notice has already reached the makers but they haven’t heard from them, “We have sent notices to Sanjay Leela Bhansali (director) and Hussain Zaidi (writer of Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of Women from the Ganglands, from where Gangubai Kathiawadi was adapted). However, there has been no response from them.”
Gangubai’s granddaughter too is upset and is absolutely irked, she has been quoted as saying, “The makers have defamed my family out of greed for money. It cannot be accepted. You did not ask for the family’s consent before going ahead with the project. You did not come to us while writing the book, nor did you seek our permission before making the film.”
She further went on to question that just because her grandmother lived in Kamathipura area, how does that make her a prostitute? She asks whether every woman living in that area is a prostitute. She has been further quoted as saying, “My grandmother used to live in Kamathipura. So, did every woman living there become a prostitute? My grandmother had adopted four children there – two daughters, Shakuntala Ranjit Kawi (Bharti’s mother) and Sushila Reddy, and two sons, Babu Raoji Shah and Rajinikanth Raoji Shah. We are from this family, but now we’ve been termed ‘illegal.’ When our grandmother went through with the adoption, such strict adoption laws were not in place.
“We used to narrate the stories of our grandmother proudly. But, after the trailer was released, people called to tell us how she was being portrayed as a prostitute. My grandmother has worked for the sex workers’ upliftment throughout her life. What have these people turned my grandmother into.” her grand daughter said.
A Mumbai court had also summoned Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Alia Bhatt for the case and later the Bombay High Court refused to stay the release of the film. And now when the matter is yet again heating up Bhansali and Alia are in Berlin for the premier of the film there and there has been no response towards the allegations from them.
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