‘Our way of giv­ing it back to Deepika’

Ra­jput Karni Sena mem­ber says Kota the­atre at­tack is pay­back, states Pad­ma­vati di­rec­tor is spread­ing cul­tural ter­ror­ism

Mid Day - - HITLIST - SONIL DEDHIA sonil.dedhia@mid-day.com

IT’s not en­tirely un­com­mon for cast­ing agents to dis­cover that im­posters are us­ing their name to fleece aspir­ing ac­tors off their money. But this time around, TV cza­rina and film pro­ducer Ekta Kapoor has found her­self in a sim­i­lar predica­ment. The film pro­ducer has been alerted about a cer­tain Yash­pal Kapoor, who has been claim­ing to be a cast­ing agent for Balaji Pro­duc­tions and lur­ing in­dus­try hope­fuls in the process. mid­day has learnt that Ekta will be lodg­ing a com­plaint with the cy­ber cell to­day in this mat­ter.

Shar­ing a snap­shot of the flyer that the im­poster is us­ing to pro­mote his ser­vices, a livid Ekta wrote on her Twit­ter ac­count, “Avoid all the fake cast­ing calls!!! Loads of peo­ple used. Sy­co­phants feed­ing on the need of strug­gling ac­tors #be­ware!!! We will call the cops if you take ad­van­tage or abuse our com­pany name.”

A pro­duc­tion house in­sider tells mid-day that the de­vel­op­ment came to light when an ac­tor ap­proached the stu­dio, stat­ing he had been se­lected by their cast­ing agent for a role. “The so-called cast­ing agent promised a small-time ac­tor a role in one of her shows. When the ac­tor di­rectly got in touch with us to dis­cuss fur­ther de­tails, he re­alised that he was co­or­di­nat­ing with a fake cast­ing agent all along. That’s when we got a whiff of th­ese de­vel­op­ments. The guy was bla­tantly pro­mot­ing him­self as the prime cast­ing agent for Ekta’s tele­vi­sion shows. Ekta di­rected her mar­ket­ing team to take up the mat­ter with Face­book and they have al­ready re­ported the page for the time be­ing.”

When mid-day reached out to the agent, who iden­ti­fied him­self as Yash­pal Kapoor, he de­nied any in­volve­ment with Balaji. “I have never used Balaji’s name. I have a daugh­ter whose name is Ekta Kapoor as well. She too is a tele­vi­sion ac­tor in Mumbai for the last 12 years. I have nei­ther duped any­one nor have I ex­torted money from any­one. Balaji is de­fam­ing me un­nec­es­sar­ily.” CON­TRO­VER­SIES around San­jay Leela Bhansali’s Pad­ma­vati refuse to end. In a fresh de­vel­op­ment, mem­bers of Ra­jput Karni Sena van­dalised a cin­ema hall in Kota, Ra­jasthan, as the the­atre was screen­ing the film’s trailer. The at­tack came just as the film’s lead­ing lady, Deepika Padukone, made her view known on the de­mand for a ban on the mag­num opus. She said, “It’s ab­so­lutely ap­palling. Where have we reached as a na­tion? We have re­gressed.”

Speak­ing to mid-day, Vi­jen­dra Singh Kalyan­wat, the spokesper­son of Karni Sena, de­fends the out­fit’s at­tack on the Kota the­atre. “If the ac­tor re­acts to us, this is our way of giv­ing it back. We will do what­ever we can. Hum kanoon ko haath main kya, hu­mare kad­mon main bhi lenge! We have writ­ten our his­tory with our blood and we won’t tol­er­ate Bhansali dis­tort­ing it.”

Ever since the Ran­veer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and Padukone-star­rer was mounted, the fringe groups ex­pressed their con­cern over the “dis­tor­tion of his­tory”. Their de­mand was that the film­maker run his film past them. Point out how Bhansali has con­ceded to their de­mands and is show­ing the film to a spe­cial com­mit­tee, and he says, “For months, we reached out to him by way of let­ters and emails, but he didn’t re­spond. Now, even if he is show­ing the movie, we are not in­ter­ested. We de­mand a com­plete ban on the film. What Bhansali is do­ing is spread­ing cul­tural ter­ror­ism.”

While the right-wing out­fits’ pri­mary con­cern was an al­leged ro­man­tic se­quence be­tween Alauddn Khilji and Rani Pad­mini, now Kalyan­wat as­serts that the prob­lem has ex­tended to the de­pic­tion of the char­ac­ters. “You can ask any Ra­jput woman and she will tell you, never has any woman danced the way Deepika Padukone is seen danc­ing in the song. There have been in­stances in the past where film­mak­ers have dis­torted our cul­ture and tra­di­tion, but we won’t al­low it this time.”

Flyer used by the im­poster Van­dal­ism at Kota the­atre; (in­set) Vi­jen­dra Singh Kalyan­wat

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