National

Throwback To PM Modi's Blog On Mulji, Journalist Who Inspired Amir Khan's Son's Now-Halted Movie

In a blog post during his tenure as Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi had commended Karsandas Mulji's contributions to social reform and the courage shown during the Maharaj Libel Case.

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'Maharaj' Poster Photo: Instagram
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A controversy has emerged surrounding the upcoming Netflix film "Maharaj", starring Junaid Khan, son of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, and Jaideep Ahlawat. The historical drama, previously scheduled for release on June 14, is based on the 1862 Maharaj Libel Case, a significant legal battle in Indian history.

The film tells the story of journalist Karsandas Mulji, who exposed wrongdoing in the Vallabhacharya sect, and Jadunath Brijratan Maharaj, the head of the sect. Junaid Khan plays Mulji, while Jaideep Ahlawat portrays Maharaj.

Notably, in a blog post during his tenure as Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi had commended Karsandas Mulji's contributions to social reform and the courage shown during the Maharaj Libel Case. 

In his blog on Independence Day in 2010, then chief minister Narendra Modi had written, "...Social reformist and journalist Karsandas Mulji's newspaper too was titled "Satya-Prakash". Gujarat has accepted the path of truth as its weapon to fight all forms of injustice, neglect and against those who try to defame us."

He went on to write, "Saanch ne ave na Aanch" (There is no ignominy in speaking the truth). "Satya Chhapre Chadi ne Pokarshe" (Truth will always emerge). "Satya No Jay" (Truth always triumphs). This only is our faith."

What Is Maharaj Movie Controversy

The followers of the Vaishnavite Pustimargi sect have objected to the film's narrative, citing concerns that it may distort their religious practices and provoke animosity. They have petitioned the Gujarat High Court, alleging potential violations of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, and self-regulation norms for OTT platforms.

The petition seeks to halt the film's release on Netflix. The hashtag #BoycottNetflix has been trending on social media, with many calling for a boycott of the platform until the film is removed from its schedule.

According to a statement issued by Netflix last month, Maharaj follows Karsandas Mulji, a journalist and social reformer, who was a pioneering advocate for women’s rights and social reform.

A student at Elphinstone College in Mumbai and a protégé of the scholar-leader Dadabhai Naoroji, Mulji wrote on widow remarriage, stood up for the oppressed, and sowed the seeds of reform in society.

“It all came to a head in the Maharaj Libel Case of 1862, which was ignited by allegations of misconduct by a prominent figure, the case garnered widespread attention and scrutiny, setting the stage for what many consider to be one of the most significant legal battles of all time,” the streamer said.

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