No screening of Aamir starrer 'Fanaa' in Gujarat

May 23, 2006 IANS

Ahmedabad, May 23 (IANS) Gujarat's cinema houses Tuesday decided not to screen the much-awaited Aamir Khan starrer "Fanna", releasing countrywide Friday, following protests from political parties over the actor's recent remarks.

Associations of cinema houses and multiplexes in the state decided not to screen the film.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) remained adamant over the call it had given last month to boycott Khan's films in the state, even as the opposition Congress supported the protest.

Khan had invited the wrath of the two parties last month when he expressed solidarity with the Narmada Bachao Andolan that has been protesting the Sardar Sarovar dam project on the river Narmada. The project has been seen as the "lifeline" for the drought-prone parts of the state.

Khan later criticised the Narendra Modi government over the communal skirmishes in Vadodara that claimed six lives this month.

"How can we exhibit Aamir Khan's film when he spoke against the state without knowing anything? His statement (on the Narmada project) was a hindrance in the progress of our state," said Manubhai Patel, president of the multiplex association.

Patel denied any political pressure prompting their decision but admitted that the multiplex owners were afraid of rioting and damage to the halls.

"You cannot stop mobs when they come protesting," said Patel.

The BJP and Congress workers had joined hands in stopping the screening of Khan's "Rang De Basanti" last month, and had burned the film's posters.

"We are firm and have rejected the request from Yashraj Films to allow the film to be exhibited in the state. We will not compromise on the issue," said Amit Thaker, BJP youth wing city president.

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