Raees dives into another controversy

The Asian Age.  | K A Dodhiya

Entertainment, Bollywood

A few scenes from the film’s trailer released on Wednesday have rubbed members of the Shia community the wrong way.

Stills from Raees’ trailer

Raees has found itself embroiled in multiple controversies merely hours after its trailer launch — not that it’s a bad thing in Bollywood. The first controversy was it stepping on the Roshans’ toes by coinciding the release with Kaabil. The second controversy surfaced on Thursday when members of the city’s Shia community protested the use of religious symbols in the film. A scene in particular that depicts holy symbols during a Moharrum procession has upset the community, which has written to the additional commissioner of police and social security branch.

Some concerned members of the community based in Mumbai decided to approach Javed Shroff, a prominent personality in the community. “Nanji (Shia community member) and the others informed me about the objectionable scenes and requested me to take up the issue with the concerned authorities so that the filmmakers remove it not only from the trailer but also from the film,” said Shroff who is also the secretary of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. He added that as the issue affected Shias across the country and the world, he had also requested Leader of opposition in Parliament Gulam Nabi Azad, MP Ahmad Patel and MP Rajiv Shukla who is on personal good terms with SRK, to resolve the issue amicably.

Mr Sajjad (Pilloo) Nanji, a member of the community, on seeing the trailer of the film said that he was surprised to see that the main character (Khan) participating in a Moharrum procession which has all the religious symbols and flags that are carried by the devotees during actual processions held all over the world. “If including the religious rituals followed by the Shias to commemorate the martyrdom of the Imam Hussain and his family in Karbala was not enough, Khan is seen jumping over the flags and symbols in an action scene.”

The letter to the police has requested Khan to withdraw all ‘such’ scenes, and intimated them about a possible ‘peaceful protest’ in case the request is not met.

When contacted, Shilpa Handa from the film’s PR agency Spice said that they were still trying to understand the nature of the complaints.