Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nandkishor Gurjar on Sunday filed a complaint against actor-producer Anushka Sharma for using his photo without his permission in the web series Paatal Lok, India Today reported. The series has been produced in collaboration with Sharma’s Clean Slate Filmz.
The MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni town has demanded that a case be filed against Sharma under the National Security Act for causing communal disharmony. He has also called for the show to be banned.
Gurjar’s photo was used in a scene where Balkrishna Bajpayee – who plays a negative character on the show – is shown inaugurating a national highway. The original photo was morphed for the web series, but Gurjar’s face is visible in it. The original photo was clicked on March 30, 2018, when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath inaugurated a six-lane road from Ghaziabad’s UP Gate to Karheda. Gurjar is seen standing near the chief minister.
Gurjar also claimed that the series tried to malign BJP’s image, and created a terror-free image of Pakistan, which was an insult to India. He alleged that the series showed castes in Sanatan Dharma and different Hindu agencies in a negative light, and thus “anti-national”.
The BJP leader said that the web series showed Gurjars as dacoits and people associated with mal-practices. He also claimed that it tried to create differences between castes in India such as the Jats of Punjab, Brahmins and Tyagis. He claimed that the use of casteist slurs in the show indicated that certain castes are of a lower stature in the society. Gurjar said that this will further create a stir among people.
On May 18, a Gorkha group also filed a complaint against Sharma for some remarks that allegedly degraded its community members, NDTV reported. The All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association filed its complaint online with the National Human Right Commission over an alleged “sexist slur”.
Last week, the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh, the youth wing of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, had also started an online campaign that asked for a particular scene in the series to be muted and the corresponding subtitle uploaded with a disclaimer.
In its petition, the group said that the remarks were used against a character, whose name suggests that she belongs to the Khasi community of Meghalaya. They claimed that the scene normalises racism against the community.
President of the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh, Nanda Kirati Dewan, said that such stereotyping not only maligns the community, but normalises such racism as a standard practice for the people. “It sets a distorted image among people regarding a certain community, the brunt of which, the people living there have to face,” Dewan said.
The Gorkha groups have also threatened to take legal action against Sharma.