High demand for 'Fanaa' VCDs, but Gujarat traders scared

May 27, 2006 IANS


Ahmedabad, May 27 (IANS) So strong is the posture of Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Aamir Khan-starrer "Fanaa" that those in the VCD business are afraid to sell or rent out even the pirated version.


The film did not hit the screens here Friday, but advance orders for its VCD and DVD versions are soaring, say VCD traders and video library owners. Wholesalers and retailers however fear they will not be able to sell or rent out even pirated VCDs, which otherwise make for a lucrative business.


"The Narendra Modi government is angry with Aamir Khan. It might be strict over the pirated VCDs of 'Fanaa', so it is not advisable to deal even in the pirated VCDs of the film," said Prashant Shah of Hollywood-Bollywood video library who is also a wholesaler of VCDs and DVDs.


"The pirated version generally hits the market in the first week of release of a film and most of our business depends on the pirated versions. The original version sometimes arrives much later. But for 'Fanaa', I would like to wait for the original," he added.


Shah, however, was clueless as to when the authentic VCDs and DVDs of "Fanaa" would arrive.


The ruling BJP in Gujarat is angry with Aamir for urging the rehabilitation of those ousted by the Narmada dam - a project the state government strongly supports.


"Our success in stopping Aamir Khan's film is a lesson for others associated with him. We will also see to it that pirated VCDs of the film don't make their way to the state," said BJP youth wing president Amit Thaker.


He along with other BJP workers staged a demonstration against the film star in front of a multiplex Friday. The government's stand has also made cinema theatres in the state boycott the film.


But the star is still a favourite with many Gujaratis.


"Aamir's other films like 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Sarfarosh' are still in demand," said Gautam Prajapati of Payal Video Library near C.G. Road here.


One trader of pirated VCDs near the Kalupur area said: "Friday was the first day of screening and VCDs, whether pirated or original, will definitely come to us within a week. People will surely come to buy them."



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