'Pathaan' protests: Will maintain law and order, assures Assam CM
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted on Sunday that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has called him to express concern over the protests in Assam against his upcoming film Pathaan. Sarma said he assured Khan the state government would maintain law and order. This comes after a day Sarma said he wasn't aware of any actor named Shah Rukh Khan or the film Pathaan.
Why does this story matter?
- Shah Rukh Khan took a sabbatical following his last full-fledged release, Zero (2018). In these four years, he has had cameo appearances in several films, but viewers have been eagerly waiting to see his aura back on big screens.
- Pathaan received a mostly positive response following the release of its trailer and some songs. However, some right-wing supporters have denounced its song Besharam Rang.
Khan called up Sarma and expressed concern
Sarma tweeted, "Bollywood actor Shri [Shah Rukh Khan] called me and we talked today morning at 2 am. He expressed concern about an incident in Guwahati... I assured him that it's [the state government's duty] to maintain law & order. We'll inquire and ensure no such untoward incidents (sic)." His tweet came after Bajrang Dal's violent protests at a theater in Guwahati's Narengi.
Bajrang Dal protests in Assam
Protesting Pathaan's release on Friday, Bajrang Dal members reportedly stormed a theater in Narengi and tore and burned the film posters. Addressing the issue, Sarma on Saturday said that if Khan called him, then the state would inquire about the matter and look into it. He further stated that the people of Assam should be concerned about Assamese films instead of Hindi films.
Previous protests in other Indian cities
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra also threatened to block the SRK starrer's release in the state if certain scenes were not modified. He called Deepika Padukone's outfits in Pathaan "highly objectionable." A right-wing outfit, Veer Shivaji Group, launched protests in Indore last year, demanding a ban on the film, and burned effigies of Khan and Padukone. #BoycottPathaan trended on social media, too.
Advance ticket sales of 'Pathaan'
Meanwhile, the buzz around Pathaan is quite high, and the Hindi and Telugu versions have sold the most tickets in advance bookings. The tickets are reportedly selling like hotcakes in several regions, indicating a massive opening at the box office, as per trade analysts. As per Bollywood Hungama, the film is touted to mint Rs. 40 crore on day one itself.
'Pathaan' in a nutshell
Pathaan is bankrolled by Aditya Chopra's Yash Raj Films and helmed by Siddharth Anand. Besides SRK and Padukone, it stars John Abraham, while Salman Khan will be seen in a cameo. The music is helmed by Vishal-Sheykhar; two songs—Besharam Rang and Jhoome Jo Pathaan—have been released so far and are trending on online music platforms and YouTube. Pathaan will release on Wednesday (January 25).