AHMEDABAD: The Aamir Khan-directed children’s film Taare Zameen Par was released in Gujarat on Friday except in Vadodara where cinema owners were in a dilemma following an agitation by a section of people.
About two dozen youth volunteers of the Sardar Patel Sena, agitating in Vadodara for the last couple of days, tore off the film posters at a cinema hall.
The reason for the agitation was the same for which the Aamir Khan-starrer Fanaa was not allowed to be released in the State earlier.
The protesters were demanding an unconditional apology from the actor to the people of the State for supporting the cause of the people displaced by the Narmada dam project. The agitation, however, remained confined to Vadodara this time. Moreover, no other organisation joined the Sena brigade. Hence cinema owners in other areas released the film.
With the agitation in Vadodara losing steam, theatre owners there are also re-assessing the situation to release the film in a day or two.
Aamir Khan’s films were virtually “banned” in Gujarat after he expressed sympathy with the agitation launched by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar last year. This “hurt” the sentiments of the people of the State who overwhelmingly support the dam project.
The BJP Yuva Morcha and various other organisations resisted the release of Fanaa until Aamir Khan issued a public apology.
The film was screened only for three days at a cinema in Jamnagar, owned by a Congress leader, and was withdrawn following immolation by a youth protesting against the release of the film.
It has not yet been released in any other part of the State.
Following the disturbances, cinema owners apprehended that Taare Zameen Par might meet the same fate as Fanaa but heaved a sigh of relief after the first two shows, running to full house, went off peacefully on the opening day.