Congress MLA Moves Bombay HC Against Use of Area Name in Alia Bhatt’s Gangubai Kathiawadi

Maharashtra Congress MLA Amin Patel, a resident of Kamathipura, South Mumbai, has filed a petition in Bombay High Court to change the name of the film Gangubai Kathiawadi, alleging it misrepresents Kamathipura as a red-light area while showing the Kathiawadi community in poor light. The hearing will take place tomorrow.

The petition filed by Shraddha Surve, a resident of Kamathipura where a number of brothels operated in the past, was mentioned before a division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Madhav Jamdar on Tuesday, seeking urgent hearing as the movie is slated for release on Friday.

Besides, a PIL filed by MLA Amin Patel, raising a similar objection, was mentioned before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik, which also said it would hear the plea on Wednesday. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film, based on a chapter from writer S Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai, features Alia Bhatt as Gangubai, one of the most powerful, loved and respected madams from Kamathipura during the 1960s.

“If the movie is allowed to be released with the name Kamathipura, then it would cause harm and disrespect to the residents, especially women,” the petition said.

There should be no reference to the name ‘Kamathipura’. “Let the name be changed to anything else…Mayapuri or Mayanagari,” the plea said. Surve also said in the petition that currently, “not even five per cent of the Kamathipura area is active in prostitution.”

The plea claimed the area’s reputation has been lowered after the release of the film’s trailer since the movie makes wild allegations that are derogatory in nature and portray the entire area as a red-light hub. The social impact the movie will cause is that all-girl residents will be termed prostitutes, teased and taunted, and families will have to live with lowered dignity, the plea stated.

Patel in his PIL said he had received several objections from local social service organisations and residents objecting to the portrayal of the neighbourhood as a hub of flesh trade.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi also stars Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz and Shantanu Maheshwari.

(With PTI inputs)

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