Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad has threatened to organise protests against an upcoming movie that features his party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Lok Sabha MP Amol Kolhe as Nathuram Godse.
Awhad claimed that the movie glorifies Godse and Kolhe should not have essayed the role. “One cannot support the murder of Mahatma Gandhi under the garb of being an actor,” Awhad said.
Awhad further added, "It is wrong for an MP to accept this role. The artist should stand by the side of society. Protest is protest, no matter the year. The role as an actor and a person cannot be two different things."
Kolhe, who gained immense popularity for his role as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in a Marathi television serial Raja Shivchatrapati, joined NCP in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha election. He was elected to parliament from the Shirur constituency.
The movie 'Why I Killed Gandhi' is set to release on January 30, 2022 on the OTT platform. The trailer of the movie was released recently.
In an attempt to end the controversy, Kolhe issued a controversy saying that shooting of the film took place in 2017 when he was neither the member of the NCP nor an elected representative.
“I think linking my present political affiliation to my acting choices in 2017 is unjustified. I am an actor and have played the part as required on screen. In reel life, an actor gets to play a character with whom you do not agree but it challenges you. But in real life, I am neither a votary of Gandhi’s assassination or believe in glorification of Godse” he said in a Facebook post.
In 2017, Awhad had protested against Marathi actor and producer Sharad Ponkshe’s ‘He Ram Nathuram’ claiming that the movie glorified Godse. The play has been performed over 50 times with the support of Shiv Sena Cadra. Ponkshe was then the vice-president of Shiv Sena's cinema wing. Sambhaji Brigade had organised protest opposing the staging of the play in Sangli, Aurangabad and other cities in the state.
Ahwad, who is the son-in-law of Dada Samant (brother of late trade union leader, Datta Samant, who led thousands of textile mill workers on a year-long strike in 1982, which resulted inclosure of most of the textile mills in the city, claims that he is an avowed follower of Gandhi.
In April 2020, henchmen, alleged to connected to Awhad, were reportedly involved in a brutal assault on a Thane-based civil engineer
In a complain to the cops, the victim alleged that two police constables and a few plain-clothed individuals came to his house at around 11.50 PM, asking him to come to the police station. He was subsequently taken to Ahwad’s bungalow and beaten with sticks, bamboos belts and rods by around 15-20 people.
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