Remove 'Ram Leela' from title: MP High Court to Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Ram leelaThe petitioners contended that use of the word 'Ramleela' in the film title and its posters had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and demanded their removal. (Poster)

In more trouble for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest film which is slated for release on Friday, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed striking out of word 'Ram-Leela" from its title after a plea alleged that it use had hurt religious sentiments.

The film's name was previously changed from Ramleela to Ram-Leela and it was now being called 'Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela' after objections were raised to its name.

However, a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice K K Lahoti and Justice Subhash Kakode on Thursday issued the directives to remove the word 'Ram-Leela' on a petition filed by lawyers Anand Chawla and Amit Kumar Sahu.

The high court also issued notices to the CEO of Eros International, Kishore Lulla, film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, actors Deepika Padukone and Ranvir Singh, who are playing the lead roles, and sought their replies.

The petitioners contended that use of the word 'Ramleela' in the film title and its posters had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and demanded their removal.

According to the petitioners, Ramlila, which is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram, is popular in India and abroad and included in the list of cultural heritage by the UNESCO.

The folk is enacted during the ten-day battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana, typically ahead of Dussehra. Interestingly, a Delhi court on Wednesday recalled its earlier order of restraining Bhansali and EROS International Media Limited from using the title 'Ram Leela' for the film, slated for November 15 release.

The Delhi High Court had earlier refused to ban the release of the movie and also imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on an NGO which had moved the plea against the film on the ground that sex, violence and vulgarity in the movie will hurt religious sentiments and feelings of Hindus.

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