Art & Entertainment

Alia Bhatt's 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' In Legal Trouble

Actress Alia Bhatt's 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' faces trouble, with a Kamathipura resident and MLA filing a complaint with the High Court over the film's use of the area's name.

Alia Bhatt in 'Gangubai Kathiawadi'

Maharashtra MLA, Amin Patel, and a Kamathipura resident in south Mumbai, has filed a complaint with the Bombay High Court, requesting that the name of the area be censored or removed from the Bollywood film 'Gangubai Kathiawadi'. Shraddha Surve, a resident of Kamathipura, where a number of brothels once operated, filed a petition on Tuesday with a division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Madhav Jamdar, requesting an urgent hearing because the film is set to be released on Friday.

The appeal will be heard on Wednesday by the bench.

A similar objection was raised in a PIL filed by Patel before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik, which said it would hear the case on Wednesday.

Actress Alia Bhatt plays Gangubai, one of Kamathipura's most powerful, loved, and respected madams during the 1960s, in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film, which is based on a chapter from writer S Hussain Zaidi's book ‘Mafia Queens Of Mumbai’.

Surve’s petition claimed that the film portrays the Kamathipura area in a negative light and may besmirch and defame its residents.

"If the movie is allowed to be released with the name Kamathipura, then it would cause harm and disrespect to the residents, especially women. There should be no reference to the name 'Kamathipura'. "Let the name be changed to anything else...Mayapuri or Mayanagari," the petition said.

Surve also stated in the petition that "not even five percent of the Kamathipura area is currently active in prostitution."

According to the plea, the area's reputation has been tarnished since the film's trailer was released, because the trailer makes wild allegations that are derogatory in nature and portrays the entire area as a red-light district. The movie's social impact will be that all female residents will be labelled prostitutes, teased and taunted, and families will have to live with diminished dignity, according to the petition.

Patel stated in his PIL that he had received several objections from local social service organisations and residents who were concerned about the neighbourhood's portrayal as a centre for flesh trade.