Producers Guild of India condemns acts of violence, harassment and vandalism on Prakash Jha's 'Ashram' set
Filmmaker Prakash Jha’s set was vandalised in Bhopal when Bajrang Dal activists attacked him and the crew on the sets of his web series 'Ashram', which they said was an “assault on Hinduism”
The Producers Guild of India has issued a statement condemning the act of violence, harassment and vandalism on the sets of Prakash Jha's web series "Ashram" in Bhopal on Sunday. The statement said, "The Producers Guild of India strongly condemns the brazen act of violence, harassment and vandalism faced by the crew involved in the production of the series 'Ashram' in Bhopal."
The Guild went on to add, "Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident and the Guild is alarmed to note the frequency with which both the production and exhibition sectors are severely and illegally disrupted by various elements with impunity."
The statement said that content production contributes significantly to local economics and tourism, and even without these incentives, the authorities should be able to guarantee security for the production units.
Filmmaker Prakash Jha’s set was vandalised on Sunday evening in Bhopal when Bajrang Dal activists attacked him and the crew on the sets of his latest web series “Ashram”, which they said was an “assault on Hinduism”.
NDTV reported that videos showed Bajrang Dal members chasing the crew, catching one of them and beating him “mercilessly with a metal light stand”, while shouting “Jai Shri Ram”, “Prakash Jha Murdabad” and “Bobby Deol Murdabad”. The goons smeared Jha’s face with ink.
Jha has assured the Bajrang Dal that the title of the series will be changed and has not pressed charges, reported NDTV. However, Bajrang Dal said that they’re still looking for Bobby Deol.
NDTV quoted Bajrang Dal leader Sushil Surhele as saying, "They made Ashram 1, Ashram 2 and were shooting Ashram 3 here. Prakash Jha showed in Ashram that the guru was abusing women. Does he have the guts to make such a film on a church or madrasa? Who does he think he is? Bajrang Dal challenges him, we won't let him make this film. So far we have just blackened Prakash Jha's face. We are looking for Bobby Deol. He should learn something from his brother (Sunny Deol). He made such patriotic movies."
"Action will be taken against those who disrupted the shooting and vandalised property today itself. They will be arrested. Anti-social elements ransacked vehicles created trouble. Crew members of Ashram will be given fill security and it will be ensured this does not happen again," senior police officer Irshad Wali said.
Supporting Prakash Jha, filmmaker Hansal Mehta tweeted, “Scared silence and continued deference will only empower such hooligans and further such oppression. But who will bell the cat?”
However, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, "Why do they always portray Hinduism and Hindu gods in a wrongful manner. They don't have the courage to do the same with other religions. New guidelines will be drafted regarding film shoots in Madhya Pradesh. No one will be allowed to portray Hindu culture in a bad manner."
Published: 25 Oct 2021, 2:52 PM