Makers of Akshay Kumar’s horror comedy Laxmmi Bomb have decided to modify the movie’s title after facing objections from several Hindu groups. It will now be called Laxmii after offense was taken to associating a derogatory term like bomb with a Hindu goddess and ‘hurting religious sentiments’.
The film, co-starring Kiara Advani, is slated to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar on 9 November in time for Diwali. It is the remake of a Tamil hit called Kanchana and is helmed by original director Raghava Lawrence. The film has been in the news for its ₹120 crore acquisition by Disney after it was compelled to skip a theatrical release due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was slated to hit the big screen for Eid this May.
Right-wing organization Hindu Sena had earlier written to union minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar emphasizing how its followers will boycott the movie across the country. Other Hindu organizations like Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha had alleged that the film promotes love jihad since it is the story of two individuals belonging to different religious communities. The Rajput Karni Sena had demanded a change in the title which they felt the makers had deliberately chosen to ‘lower the dignity’ and ‘show disrespect to the goddess.’
Laxmmi Bomb is the latest example of an Indian film that has been opposed by either a religious or political group, prompting obstacles in the run-up to its release. In 2017, activists of the Karni Sena had opposed Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (then titled Padmavati), for distorting history and “dishonoring” Rani Padmini on account of a rumor that the film contained an intimate dream sequence between Rani Padmini and Allauddin Khilji. Director Bhansali and producers Viacom18 Motion Pictures had finally decided to change the title.
“Cinema is definitely a soft target and this has been happening for very long. The point is everybody has the right to protest and they should, in a democracy…but we are creative people, we are here to make films and entertain audiences. We respect the right to protest but there is a legitimate way to do so as well,” filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar had said in an earlier interview to Mint during the Padmaavat controversy.