'Gangubai Kathiawadi': Maharashtra Congress MLA wants movie's title changed
One of the most ambitious movies of this year, Gangubai Kathiawadi, is headed for another problem, this time over its title. Maharashtra MLA Amin Patel has demanded a change in title, arguing that the name maligns Kathiawad, where the protagonist was born. He also has apprehensions about how Mumbai's red-light area Kamathipura would be shown in the movie. Here are more details.
The movie features Alia Bhatt in the titular role of Gangubai, a loved, feared, respected, and powerful brothel queen of Kamathipura. But Patel, a member of Congress, said the infamous area is not the same as it was in the 1950s. "Women there are excelling in different professions," he said in the Assembly. To note, Congress is an alliance partner in Maharashtra.
"The film's title also maligns the name of Kathiawad city. The name of the film should be changed," Patel said urging the state government to intervene.
The movie is helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and has been adapted from a chapter in Hussain Zaidi's book Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Besides Bhatt, it also features Emraan Hashmi and Ajay Devgn in important cameos roles. It will release on July 30. The teaser and the poster, which dropped a few weeks ago, were widely appreciated by Bhatt's fans and her industry colleagues.
In the book, Zaidi focused on Gangubai's unbelievable journey. She was born in Kathiawad, Gujarat, but had eloped with her lover Ramnik Laal. He was her father's accountant. Gangubai's love story ended soon as Laal sold her for Rs. 500. Forced into flesh trade, she chose to fight back and carve her own tale. Eventually, Gangubai ruled Kamathipura with an iron fist.
Gangubai was a mother-like figure for other prostitutes and worked relentlessly for the betterment of Kamathipura. She also met India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and impressed him with her wits. She was believed to be under the protection of don Karim Lala.
Bhansali's movies have invited controversies earlier as well, the most notable one was linked with the 2018 release Padmaavat. The Rajput Karni Sena had alleged the movie portrayed their queen Padmavati in poor light. Bhansali was forced to change his dream project's name on the orders of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Earlier, Gangubai's son had demanded that the production is halted.