The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday wondered why the makers of the Hindi film Adipurush were testing the tolerance level of Hindus, Live Law reported.
“The one who is gentle should be suppressed?” the court remarked. “It is good that it [the film] is about a religion whose believers did not create any public order problem.”
Directed by Om Raut, the film is an adaption of the Hindu epic Ramayana. It stars Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan, Kriti Sanon, Sunny Singh and Devdutta Nage.
The film has been criticised on social media for its gangster film-style dialogue, the over-reliance on visual effects and its casting choices. Many pointed out that the dialogues in the film are not only anachronistic to the period setting but also disrespectful of the source material.
On Tuesday, a bench of Justices Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Shree Prakash Singh directed the co-writer of the film, Manoj Muntashir Shukla, to be made a party in the case and issued a notice directing him to respond within a week, according to NDTV.
The High Court was hearing two petitions filed against the Hindi film. The petitioners claimed that the movie tarnishes the image of the cultural heritage of Ayodhya and the Hindu religion in general. In January, the court had issued a notice to the Central Board of Film Certification regarding the film, but no reply was filed, reported Live Law.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the bench stressed that the pleas before it were not “propaganda petitions” and they raise a genuine concern. It also objected to the portrayal of Hindu deities in the film.
“Lord Hanuman and Sita have been shown like they are nothing,” the judges said. “These things should have been removed from the very beginning. Some scenes seem to be in the ‘A’ [adult] category. It is very difficult to watch such films.”
It responded to the argument of the respondents that a disclaimer had been added to the film, saying that the makers of Adipurush should not consider the public as “brainless”
“You show Lord Rama, Lord Laxman, Lord Hanuman, Ravana, Lanka and then say it is not Ramayana?” the court asked.
The case will be heard next on June 28.