Despite protests in Banglore, 'Aarakshan' attracts audience

Aug 12, 2011 IANS

Bangalore, Aug 12 (IANS) Prakash Jha's "Aarakshan" has faced protests in some theatres in Bangalore and Mysore respectively, but despite that movie buffs are thronging cinema halls on the opening day. The film, about reservation in educational insitutes on the basis of caste, has generated positive response from people.

The screening of "Aarakshan" at Bangalore's Parimala theatre and Maysore's Lido theatre was dirupted. The leaders of the Bahujana Students Federation (BSF) burnt effigies of the star cast of the film in Mysore and they even demanded that the screening of the film should be stopped in entire Karnataka with immediate effect.

The BSF also pulled down the vinyl board in front of the theatre and tore the posters of the film that features Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles.

People were little unnerved at the protests and anti-movie slogans but that did not stop them from wathcing the film, said an eye-witness.

In Bangalore, about 50 volunteers of Samatha Sainika Dala (SSD) and the Republican Party of India (RPI) had gathered in front of Apsara theatre to protest the screening of the movie.

The RPI is one of the groups that had expressed concern over its content in anticipation of anti-Dalit comment in the film. But the police were alert and prepared to curb the intensity of such protests in the Bangalore.

Basha, a distributor, who has released the film in Karnataka, said that apart from the mild protest at Apsara theatre, the film has not faced any opposition in any of the theatres.

The film is getting a lot of positive reports about its quality, and as the state is celebrating one of its main festival - Vara Mahalakshmi - crowd has thronged cinema halls in good numbers.

"The film has obtained extraordinary response from the viewers who haven't found anything objectionable in the film. The film is sure to get a fantastic opening this weekend," Basha told IANS.

However, the trade analysts feels that if the protest continues, it may affect the footfall at theatres as most of the film enthusiasts would prefer to watch the pirated version than watching the film amidst fear.

The screening of the movie has already been banned in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh for two months.

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