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Don't have any relationship with any religion: Annu Kapoor amid 'Hamare Baarah' controversy

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed the release of the film after its makers agreed to delete certain objectionable portions. It was originally slated for release on June 7 and then on June 14.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 17:30 IST

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Mumbai: Veteran actor Annu Kapoor, whose upcoming film Hamare Baarah courted legal trouble over allegations of being derogatory towards Islam, on Thursday said he doesn't follow any religion and identifies as an "atheist".

Set to be released in theatres on Friday, the movie is directed by Kamal Chandra. It is produced by Radhika G Film & Newtech Media Entertainment. Ravi S Gupta, Birender Bhagat, Sanjay Nagpal, and Sheo Balak Singh are credited as producers, with Triloki Prasad set as co-producer.

Kapoor described Hamare Baraah, previously titled Hum Do Humare Baraah, as the story of a Muslim family led by his character Mansoor Ali Khan Sanjari.

"I don't have any relationship with any religion. I am an atheist. I don't participate in religious discussions because I don't have that intellect," the actor told reporters here at a press conference ahead of the film's release.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed the release of the film after its makers agreed to delete certain objectionable portions. It was originally slated for release on June 7 and then on June 14.

"Hamare Baarah" got embroiled in a legal battle after a bunch of petitions were filed in the high court claiming that it distorted the Quran and was derogatory towards the Islamic faith and the Muslim community. The plea sought a ban on the release of the movie.

Asked why films such as "The Kashmir Files" and "The Kerala Files" appear to target a particular community, one of the producers urged the media to "not make it a communal issue".

When a reporter claimed that even Sanjay Leela Bhansali makes films but "never demonises any community", Kapoor said the filmmaker showed the Hindu faith in a "disrespectful" manner in his 2018 film Padmaavat.

"I don't watch films at all but he (Bhansali) had done something for sure. In 'Padmaavat', was Sanjay Leela Bhansali showing the Hindu faith in a very respectable manner? The person's name you have mentioned, it's known what kind of films he makes and how disrespectfully he has shown the Hindu faith..." the actor added.

Several Rajput organisations in Rajasthan had accused Bhansali for distorting history in Padmaavat. The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh, was previously titled Padmavati.

Artists need "creative liberty" to make films on any subject, Kapoor further said.

"The actors, directors, producers make films because it's their means of earning and they make a film so that it runs well (in theatres)" he added.

According to producer Bhagat, the two high court judges who watched Hamare Baarah called it a film about "women empowerment".

"I was present when our appeal was being heard by the Supreme Court. Many things were reported in the media that the Supreme Court said the teaser was offensive and that it shouldn't have been this way. But, none of that happened. They (the apex court) said 'Your matter is pending in the High Court'. It directed the High Court to hear the matter soon.

"We thank the honourable high court that on the next date they only requested to watch the film so that they would be able to give a better judgement. Two high court judges watched the film and then one of them said 'The film is about women empowerment and that such films need to be made'," he added.

Last month, the makers of Hum Do Humare Baraah said the title of the film had been changed to Humare Baarah as per a directive by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

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Published 20 June 2024, 17:30 IST

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