Mumbai – Catholics have threatened to stop the screening of a forthcoming Hindi movie directed by Priyadarshan, “Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal” if certain scenes making a “disresptful portrayal” of the community and its priests are not deleted, an official said here Sunday.
A delegation of representatives of Catholic groups and a priest representing the Archdiocese of Bombay met and submitted a memorandum to Central Board of Film Certification chairperson Leela Samson Saturday.
Copies of the memorandum highlighting the community’s grievances have also been sent to Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and censor board CEO Pankaja Thakur, according to Judith Monteiro, secretary of Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC).
“We have registered our protest against the movie. We have demanded a special screening of the movie urgently and deletion of objectionable scenes based on a review by the Catholic community representatives,” Monteiro said.
Catholic Secular Forum chief Joseph Dias pointed out that stereotyping of Christians has existed in films.
“This time with the priest shown in such bad light, Bollywood has hit a new low. We call for the resignation of Leela Samson and transfer of (Pankaja) Thakur,” an angry Dias said.
Father Rueben Tellis, representative of the Archdiocese of Bombay, also referred to an earlier movie, “Kya Superkool Hai Hum” which had offensive scenes of a Catholic priest and reiterated the community’s demand for a permanent representative on the censor board to prevent such recurrences in the guise of “cinematic liberty”.
The delegation included members of AoCC, CSF, Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum, Catholic Residents Organisation for Social Servicess (CROSS) and Father Tellis.
Demanding a special screening by Monday, Monteiro listed out some of the objectionable scenes which have hurt the community’s sentiments.
These include a Catholic priest (Asrani) dancing with a rosary around his neck and wearing a garland of lottery tickets with a church in the background, an actor (Shreyas Talpade) misusing and indiscriminately using the Holy Water Sprinkler, a priest with a bouquet of flowers with an ‘I Love You’ message, a notorious character with garlands of currency notes shown with the church in the background, among others.