Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was at the centre of a controversy on Friday, this one not about his film The Kashmir Files, but for stating that the term `Bhopali' means "homosexual" in local parlance.
A video clip of Agnihotri's interview to an online channel went viral ahead of his Bhopal visit on Friday to participate in a film festival. The clip, said to be three weeks old, shows Agnihotri saying in Hindi, “I have grown up in Bhopal, but I am not a Bhopali. Because Bhopali has a different connotation. You can ask any Bhopali. I will explain it to you in privacy. If someone says he is Bhopali, it generally means he is homosexual, a person with Nawabi likings.”
Among those who objected to Agnihotri’s remark was senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. “Vivek Agnihotri ji, this might be your personal experience. This is not the experience of an ordinary Bhopal resident. I have been associated with Bhopal and Bhopalis since 1977, but my experience has not been so.
The influence of company has an effect, wherever you may live,” Singh tweeted. Agnihotri was also trolled on social media, where many Bhopal netizens questioned his sweeping comment, which they felt was in bad taste.
Ahead of his Bhopal visit, Agnihotri had engaged in an online argument with MP cadre IAS officer Niyaz Khan who had asked the filmmaker to use the earnings of the film for the welfare of Kashmiri Pandits. Khan was served a show-cause notice by the state government on Thursday for his comments.
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