Gujarat VHP withdraws protest against SRK Pathaan

The Gujarat unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday withdrew its protest against the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan, a day before its release, expressing satisfaction over the removal of “inappropriate” content from the film.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has revised the “obscene song” and “foul words” in the film and hence right-wing groups will no longer protest against its release, Gujarat VHP secretary Ashok Raval said in a statement.

Pathaan is facing backlash for featuring actress Deepika Padukone in a saffron bikini in the song ‘Besharam Rang’.

Several leaders, including from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, sought a ban on the film, which is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

Speaking to PTI, Raval claimed that in its recent circular, the censor board has made 40 to 45 corrections related to songs, colors and clothes which have resolved the issues and hence they no longer need to protest.

This was a victory for the Hindu community, he claimed.

In a statement, the VHP leader said, “Following Bajrang Dal’s protests against Pathaan, the censor board has revised the obscene song and disgusting words in the film, which is good news. I congratulate all the activists and the entire Hindu community who fought this successful battle for the protection of religion and culture.”

Now, according to him, it is up to enlightened citizens to decide whether to watch the film.

Right-wing groups had earlier threatened to stop the release of the film in Gujarat, while the state government had provided police protection to theaters following statements from multiplex owners.

The representatives of Multiplex Association of Gujarat met Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi in ​​Gandhinagar last week concerned about the threat they received from various groups.

Assuring them of support, Sanghavi promised to deploy police officers outside theaters for the smooth screening of the film.

Earlier on Sunday, five VHP activists were arrested in Surat for rioting after they stormed a cinema and tore down posters of the film.

Similar protests have been reported before.

Advance bookings for Pathaan, backed by Yash Raj Films, opened from January 20. The film is said to be released across India in 5000 screens.

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