Indian court temporarily stays release of Hindi film ‘Maharaj’ on Netflix after Hindu group’s petition

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The Gujarat High Court has temporarily stayed the release of Bollywood film Maharaj, which was slated to premiere on Netflix today.

The stay order was issued following petitions from members of the Pushtimarg — a Hindu sect worshipping Lord Krishna — alleging that the film could hurt religious sentiments, The Indian Express reported.

The film, based on the controversial Maharaj Libel Case 1862, narrates the legal drama that ensued after social reformer Karsandas Mulji levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against religious leader Jadunathji Brijratanji Maharaj.

Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan will make his debut in the film as Karsandas while actor Jaideep Ahlawat is expected to play the role of Jadunathji.

The film, helmed by director Siddharth Malhotra, was produced by Yash Raj Films.

The petitioners reportedly raised objections that parts of the movie contained “scandalous and defamatory language” and the release of the film “is likely to incite feelings of hatred and violence” against the Pushtimarg sect.

The petitioners also claimed that Yash Raj Films and Netflix declined the request made by another body for a private screening and did not issue any clarifications prior to the release date.

Earlier in January, Netflix removed the Tamil-language movie, Annapoorani The Goddess of Food after Hindu groups lodged police reports and slammed the movie for offending religious sentiments.