Even before the world premiere of Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo on Amazon Prime Video, the film has already been embroiled in controversy. Recently, the screenwriter of the film Juhi Chaturvedi was accused of plagiarism by late screenwriter Rajeev Agarwal's son, Akira. These claims are by Akira Agarwal, the son of writer late Rajeev Agarwal who had submitted his story in a contest known as “Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest” promoted by The Screenwriters Association (SWA), a Trade Union of screenwriters and lyricists who work for Films, TV and Digital Media in India.
Veteran screenwriter Anjum Rajabali chaired this jury, and Juhi along with 2 more jury members was part of the plan for the final 8 scripts. The final shortlisted scripts (which did not include Akira’s story) came to Juhi and other jury members on October 24, 2018. Now in a statement, Juhi Chaturvedi has reacted to the entire controversy. Juhi said, “My conscience is clear and so are the facts in this matter. Gulabo Sitabo is my original work and I am proud of it. I shared the idea with the director and lead actor of the film in early 2017. I subsequently registered the concept note for the film in May 2018. I also must clarify the speculations around my conduct as a jury member for Cinestaan’s contest.”
She went on to say, “I had no access to the so-called infringed script at any point in time, as alleged. This fact has been independently confirmed by Cinestaan as well. Even the SWA, who has looked at this dispute in May, 2020, decided in my favour. I speak now to request the press and public not to be disillusioned by false accusations, which are for publicity only. Acts of harassment, defamatory comments, and leaking confidential notices by the accusers only show their lack of faith in their own case. I stand by my truth.”
In a statement by Anjum Rajabali, Jury Chairman, Cinestaan Script Contest said, “It has come to our notice that there are some reports in the mainstream as well as social media about allegations that Juhi Chaturvedi, the screenwriter of the soon-to-be-released film, ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ has plagiarized the script, ’16, Mohandas Lane’, written by late Rajeev Aggarwal. While it is true that ’16, Mohandas Lane’ was submitted to the first edition of the Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Script Contest of which Juhi Chaturvedi was one of the jury members, we want to clarify that she had absolutely no access to this particular script.”
Gulabo Sitabo to premier on Amazon Prime Video on June 12.
Images Source: instagram/juhic3/amitabhbachchan
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