Vidya Balan pulls out of Kamala Das biopic
Renowned actor, Vidya Balan, has changed her mind about working in the Kamala Das biopic. Balan was initially thrilled to essay the role of Kamala Das, a controversial poetess, who passed away in 2009. Local media has suggested that Balan's exit may have been prompted given pressure from several Hindu outfits, including RSS and Shiv Sena, who had previously opposed the film's making.
Kamala Das, a poetess of exceptional repute, was born on March 31, 1934 in Punnayurkulam in Kerala. She wrote poetry and short stories in English and her native Malayalam and won multiple awards. Das was known for her sensitivity and candour. She was vocally critical of godmen and priests and was also the first Hindu woman to discuss Indian women's sexuality candidly.
Kamala Das's autobiography 'My Story' led to many controversies concerning her views on marital fidelity and sex. She also converted to Islam, at age 65, a decade before passing away, creating a storm in the social and literary world.
Kamala Das biopic runs into trouble
A biopic was being helmed on Kamala by National Award-winning director, Kamaluddin Muhammed, also known as Kamal. Vidya Balan, was roped in to play Das which invited ire of right-wing outfits who were unhappy with her taking this role. Recently Kamal had a run-in with RSS and BJP for supporting some audience members at a film-festival in Kerala for not standing during national anthem.
BJP takes on Kamaluddin Muhammed
In relation to the national anthem controversy, Kerala BJP's general secretary, AN Radhakrishnan, had a sharp response and he asked Kamal to leave the country if he "continued to dishonour the anthem".
Response from parties
Vidya Balan's spokesperson categorically stated that her exit had nothing to do with pressure from right-wing parties but because Balan and Kamal had "divergent approaches to the process". Kamal, couldn't confirm whether Balan's exit was related to his tiff with RSS and BJP. He said, "I don't have any proof to buttress this. But if someone clubs these two, they can't be blamed either."