Abhishek Bachchan’s Smoking Scene In Manmarziyaan: Anurag Kashyap Renders An Apology To Sikh Community

Abhishek Bachchan’s character, Robbie, is shown smoking a cigarette in Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan. It has sparked off a controversy with a section of the Sikh community arguing that is disrespectful. Kashyap has penned an open letter, explaining himself and rendering an apology

The smoking scene picturised on Abhishek Bahchan in Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan has been drawing backlash from the Sikh community. A compaint had also been filed against the film’s director, Anurag Kashyap and actors Taapsee Pannu and Abhishek Bachchan for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community. Though Abhishek's character, Robbie, is seen respectfully handing over his turban, before he lights up a cigarette, the scene has managed to irk a section of the community.

Taking to Twitter, Anurag Kashyap has now expressed his views on the controversy. He explains in detail that the scene was filmed after consulting 150 odd Sikhs, and all their suggestions were complied with, and adhered to. Sharing a long post on his Twitter page, he wrote,

“I am not in India and I have been reading about the Sikh community feeling offended by the smoking scene. This film is not commenting on a community, it talks about individuals and their choices. Every step of the way, we asked for guidance from Sikh people for the film.

When we shot the sequence in Gurudwara , we were told we can’t shoot them getting married as it can’t be faked so I made the actors do only “Mattha tekna.“ When we were shooting scenes, no member of crew was allowed to smoke inside the houses. When we shot the smoking scene, it was shot on the street and there were close to 150 people watching the shoot. We asked before doing the scene and were told that he has to take the Turban off before he smokes away from his house. We were also shown how Robbie should take the turban off with both hands and how he should hand it over and how the cousin should take it.

A Still From Manmarziyaan
A Still From Manmarziyaan

Most of the 150 people in the crowd were Sikhs and we were told that’s how it is. We created what we saw with our own eyes and after discussion. It was never the intention to hurt the community and why would we do that when we got so much love from them. The city of Amritsar opened their hearts and doors to us and everything was done with utmost care . Not a single thing was shot without guidance. We wanted to show things the way they are. No religion teaches crime or anything anti-humanity, yet those things happen. It doesn’t mean they are offending the religion.

Manmarziyaan is a story of three individuals and not their religion. I am sorry if anyone feels genuinely hurt but I would also request that please don’t make this unnecessary political because it’s not. I have always put out things the way they are without an agenda. Technology does not allow us to cut a scene and it affects the story telling. So I definitely cannot do that now. To those whose hurt is genuine, I offer a genuine apology, that wasn’t my intention. And for those who are doing it for attention , I am glad you have got the attention.”

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