Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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Gangubai Kathiawadi: Why Kamathipura's Matriarch Is In The News Again

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' is in the eye of a storm, as the real-life daughter and grandson of the brothel owner are fighting to ‘protect the dignity’ of the long-dead queen of Mumbai’s red light district

Gangubai Kathiawadi: Why Kamathipura's Matriarch Is In The News Again
Gangubai’s daughter Babita Photograph: Dinesh Parab

Kamathipura in central Mumbai is gearing up for the release of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much-publicised Hindi film Gangubai Kathiawadi, which will hit the theatres on February 25. The Alia Bhatt starrer is being bandied as a “true picturisation” of Gangubai, one of the most powerful brothel owners of Kamathipura, whose lanes had seen a thriving sex trade until some years ago.

Though in present-day Kamathipura, sex trade is confined to a few lanes, public curiosity has given it a different dimension. As the release date nears, winds of protest are blowing through the area. Residents believe Bhansali’s film has taken away the dignity of the neighbourhood, by painting the whole of Kamathipura as a red light district.

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