January 13, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Thiruvanatpuram: Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has reportedly pulled out of a planned biopic on poetess Kamala Das, a move the film’s director said could be linked to his own troubles with the Hindutva outfits.
Kamala Das, a Kerala poetess who died in 2009, had embraced Islam towards the end of her life and changed her name to Kamala Surayya.
As per the media reports a range of Hindu outfits, including the Shiv Sena, are opposed to Vidya Balan donning the role of Kamala Das known for her bold writings and utterances.
Yesterday, while talking to Hindustan Times (HT) Director Kamaluddin Muhammed, also known as Kamal, reportedly said that Vidya Balan was initially thrilled to essay the role. But she changed the shooting schedule twice, citing inconveniences.
Later on a manager of the actress on anonymity said that the shoot dates had only been “slightly pushed” owing to a strike in Kerala.
But Vidya Balan’s official spokesperson clarified later that the actress has quit the film as she and the director had “divergent approaches to the process”.
Insisting that Vidya Balan respected the director, she has opted out of the film in the most amicable and professional manner. “Any other reason cited is untrue,” said the media while referring to an undisclosed source.
However director Kamal asserts that her decision could have something to do with run-ins with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological fountain.
An award-winning filmmaker with 48 movies to his credit, Kamal had courted controversy in December when RSS workers accused him of supporting some members of the audience who did not stand up when the Jan Gan Man anthem was being played during the International Film Festival reads a quote in the English Vernacular.
Furthermore, state BJP general secretary AN Radhakrishnan had urged Kamal to leave the country if he “continued to dishonour the Jan Gan Man anthem”.
The director added to his statement that he had no idea whether Vidya Balan’s pulling out from his project had anything to do with his tiff with the RSS and BJP. “I don’t have any proof to buttress my point. But if someone clubs these two, they can’t be blamed either.”
He said Balan was a natural choice for the bilingual biopic.