Shah Rukh Khan’s “My Name Is Khan” saw a troubled opening day Friday
with no morning shows in Mumbai and Ahmedabad and sporadic trouble
elsewhere but also long queues for tickets in large parts of India
amid heavy security.
The union home ministry said it would review security in Maharashtra
following violence by the Shiv Sena against Shah Rukh, whose
comments in support of Pakistani players being included in the
Indian Premier League (IPL) has enraged the Hindu rightwing group
and its allies.
meeting, to be chaired by Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, will review
the situation and send a report to the state government on what
precautions need to be taken, a home ministry official told IANS.
much-discussed film, which tells the story of Rizwan Khan coping
with events in post 9/11 America, opened to trepidation with the 63
scheduled theatres in Mumbai shying away from exhibiting the film
following protests by the Shiv Sena.
by noon some of the multiplexes started screening the film. The
distributors hoped that other theatres would follow suit.
Cinemas began their first show at 12 noon while the multiplex Fame
is expected to start at 2.30 p.m. There was extra security around
the multiplexes in this entertainment capital of India.
no-show in the morning came despite assurance of adequate security
for the movie screening by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Home
Minister R.R. Patil, Minister of State for Home Ramesh Bagwe and
Police Commissioner D. Shivanandhan.
Gujarat’s main town of Ahmedabad, the Bajrang Dal and the
Mahagujarat Janata Party (MJP) backed the Shiv Sena’s protests
against Shah Rukh but here too many cinemas started screening the
film after noon.
Reports came in from various districts of the state as well of
activists tearing down posters of the film. In Vapi, Shiv Sena
activists burnt an effigy of Shah Rukh and in Ahmedabad 10 Bajrang
Dal and MJP activists were arrested.
tension spilled over to other states.
Orissa, the screening had to be stopped in two places in Berhampur
town where hundreds of Bajrang Dal activists tore down posters of
the film and burnt Shah Rukh effigies.
Bajrang Dal workers were arrested in Bhubaneswar while going to a
the Goa capital Panaji, 21 Shiv Sena workers were arrested for
staging protests outside the Inox multiplex.
There were some protests in Madhya Pradesh too. While the Shiv
Sena’s attempts to disrupt screenings in Bhopal were futile with
heavy police presence, the movie was released amid minor protests
elsewhere in the state, said the Madhya Pradesh Cinema Exhibitors
release was delayed at two theatres in Gwalior and Jabalpur, said
Association Secretary Aziz Bhai.
Kolkata, enthusiastic crowded packed into cinemas screening the Shah
Angry fans also burnt effigies of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in
several parts of the city as cine buffs queued up outside ticket
counters on the opening day.
in New Delhi, where a cinema hall that had been vandalised just a
few hours before it was scheduled to start screening the film, sold
80 percent of the tickets for the first show.
first show at 10.15 a.m. got about 80 percent occupancy which is
very decent. The vandalism has not affected our bookings and there
is no problem in the Janakpuri hall,” Jayendra Banerji, vice
president (operations) of Satyam Cineplexes, told IANS.