Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, whose film Manmarziyaan has reportedly upset some Sikhs, says the Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal-starrer is a story of three persons and not Sikhism.
According to a report, members of the Sikh community in Ambala expressed displeasure over a scene in Manmarziyaan in which Bachchan and Pannu, who play a Sikh couple, have been shown smoking.
“Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion. I am sorry if anyone feels genuinely hurt, but I would also request that please don’t make this unnecessary political because it’s not,” Kashyap tweeted on Wednesday.
“I have always put out things the way they are without an agenda. Technology does not allow us to cut a scene and it affects the storytelling. So, I definitely cannot do that now. And for those who are doing it for attention, I am glad you have got the attention,” he added.
The filmmaker wasn’t in India when the controversy erupted, but he took out time to respond on social media.
“This film is not commenting on a community, it talks about individuals and their choices. Every step of the way, we asked for guidance from Sikh people for the film. When we shot the sequence in Gurudwara, we were told we can’t shoot them getting married as it can’t be faked. So we made the actors do only ‘mattha tekna’ [paying respects],” he clarified.
The No Smoking director said when the team was shooting scenes, no crew member was allowed to smoke on the set.
“When we shot the smoking scene, it was shot on the street and there were close to 150 people watching the shoot. We asked before doing the scene and were told that he has to take the turban off before he smokes away from his house,” he said.
“We were also shown how Robbie [Bachchan] should take the turban off with both hands and how he should hand it over and how the cousin should take it. Most of the 150 people in the crowd were Sikhs and we were told that’s how it is,” he added.
He said what they created was on the basis of what they saw and after discussions.
“It was never the intention to hurt the community and why would we do that when we got so much love from them. The people of Amritsar opened their hearts and doors to us and everything was done with utmost care. We wanted to show things the way they are. No religion teaches crime or anything anti-humanity, yet those things happen. It doesn’t mean they are offending the religion,” said Kashyap.