Gangubai Kathiawadi’s adopted son has filed a case against actor Alia Bhatt, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and author Hussain Zaidi. In his petition, Babuji Rawji Shah has alleged that the film and its source material, Zaidi’s Mafia Queens of Mumbai are ‘defamatory’ and infringe his rights to ‘privacy, liberty and self-respect.’
Shah has asked that the film’s production be stopped due to the aforementioned reasons. He has sought the removal of specific chapters from Mafia Queens of Mumbai and portions of the film, as well as a permanent order on the printing and circulation of the book.
The Print writes that the first hearing of the case took place on Tuesday and the defendants have been given time till 7 January to respond. Shah’s lawyer Narendra Dubey told the news outlet that a criminal complaint may be filed against everyone named in the petition for ‘for defamation, indecent representation of women, and circulation of obscene and indecent material.’
Shah, in his petition, said that ever since the release of Gangubai Kathiawadi’s promotional material, he has been harassed by members of his locality, which even led to a fractured leg. He further stated that his family is being referred to as ‘coming from a prostitute family’.
Gangubai Kathiawadi will be Bhansali’s first film after Padmaavat, which released in 2018 amid much controversy. This is also Bhansali’s first film that features a strong female lead although it was the director’s 2005 film Black, starring Rani Mukerji, which also placed a female character at the center of the narrative through the story of a specially abled girl (essayed by Mukerji), and her difficult relationship with her tutor, portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan.
Actress Alia Bhatt will reportedly play the role of a brothel owner and a matriarch in Gangubai Kathiawadi. The biographical crime drama has been co-produced by Jayantilal Gada and Bhansali himself. It was earlier scheduled to be released in September 2020 but that could not happen because of the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Alia Bhatt resumed shooting for the biopic in October and completed the same last month. Earlier, the titular role was supposed to be played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas but she was later replaced by Alia.