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Will `Dilwale' succeed after Shah Rukh's apology for his intolerance remarks?
Two major Bollywood films have been released today. One is Shahrukh-Kajol starer 'Dilwale' and the other is 'Bajirao Mastani' starring Ranvir Singh, Deepika and Priyanka Chopra. But there are controversies that may decide the box office results of both the films.

Bajirao Mastani has already got a jolt in the form of a protest supported by BJP that prompted Pune's City Pride theatre cancelling three shows of the film today.

The descendants of Peshwa and Chhatrasal dynasty had organized a protest at Shaniwar Wada, the ancestral capital of Peshwas on December 12 to condemn the promotional videos and songs of the movie and alleged that the film is an attempt to distort history. Reportedly, the protest was led by Undaysinh Peshwa, the descendant of Peshwas, who was joined by Kothrud's BJP MLA, Medha Kulkarni, the descendant of Chhatrasal.

The protestors burnt an effigy of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and shouted slogans against the movie. They asked people to boycott this movie.

Well, whether history was distorted in this movie, we will come to know later. But I don't think people will boycott the movie just for this reason.

In Pakistan this movie is likely to be boycotted simply because the censor board of Pakistan feels that the film is anti-Islam and anti-Muslim besides objectionable scenes and dialogues.

If 'Bajirao Mastani' got a jolt, then SRK's 'Dilwale' got a major blow because of the actor's tryst with intolerance debate in the recent past. As a part of damage control, SRK asked for forgiveness for his remark on rising intolerance in India saying that his statement was misconstrued and he never meant there was rising intolerance in India.

There was a BJP led protest in Allahabad yesterday that included burning of the poster of the movie prompting the movie theatres to cancel advance booking of this film. Obviously the excuse bid of SRK did not go well with his critics.

"It was a gimmick; he only asked for pardon just to ensure that his film succeeds", said one of the protesters.

Kailash Vijaywargiya, BJP General Secretary, who labeled SRK as traitor or 'Desh Drohi' for his uncalled for remark on intolerance resonated with the protesters and asked the people to boycott the movie to teach the super star a lesson.

The social media and online news platforms are full of opinions to boycott SRK movie, but there has not been any adverse view on Bajirao Mastani so far.

History tells us that these kind of protests never had any negative effects on the business of the movies. The film 'PK' is an example of that. There were wide spread protests including violence by Hindu organizations against 'PK' with the plea that the film depicts Hinduism in poor taste. But the result was an overwhelming success for the movie, which grossed more than Rs 400 crores. Movie lovers gave a damn to religious considerations and watched the movie in large numbers. Where else you find such tolerance level except in India?

But SRK's case is different. He attacked the tolerant people of India, particularly Hindus, by labelling them as intolerant. He forgot that the Hindus made the film 'PK' a box office super hit despite the film allegedly showing derogatory scenes and facts about Hinduism. SRK knows that the people are angry and therefore, he resorted to reconciliation by asking for forgiveness for his blatant remark on rising intolerance.

So far his appeal has not made any head start. There are some interesting comments on social media in this regard.

"Instead of buying a ticket costing Rs. 200 for 'Dilwale', I would like to spend it feeding 10 people @Rs 20 per each person", someone opined. This is with obvious reference to Aamir Khan's dictum in a film that there is no logic of wasting a liter of milk costing Rs. 20 on a 'Shiv Ling' which could be used for feeding a hungry person", someone commented.

It goes without saying that when Aamir Khan's new film will be released, people will use the cost of the ticket to feed a number of hungry people instead of watching his film. SRK may face the same fate. The anguish over SRK's intolerance remark has not yet subsided. Later Aamir Khan's remark on the same issue has just added fuel to it.

"When tolerance is seen as weakness, we will show our aggression by boycotting the film", opined another.

We will come to know by this month's end whether the tolerant people showed aggression to express their unhappiness over intolerance remark by SRK or 'Dilwale' goes like PK.

One thing I would like to point out that being a celebrity comes with responsibility. Celebrities are beyond religion. An average Indian loves three things namely Politics, Bollywood and Cricket. People connected with these become celebrities if they excel. If any celebrity gives an irresponsible statement, then he has to face the music, at least once. So there is strong case of boycotting SRK movie, at least this time.

A Muslim fan of SRK said that if Hindus don't watch SRK movie; it may not gross Rs 400 crores, but surely it would make Rs 399.99 crores as the Muslims and Pakistanis will watch this movie with gay abandon.

So be it. Let Hindus watch Bajirao Mastani and Muslims watch Dilwale. 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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