Zila Ghaziabad in trouble again

Zila Ghaziabad

Producer Vinod Bachchan's film Zila Ghaziabad, starring Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi was embroiled in a controversy once again. Just prior to its release on February 22, the film ran into trouble when some locals of Ghaziabad protested against the title as well as subject of the film. They even threatened to move court as they felt the film was denting the image of the city.

The director Anand Kumar held a press conference in Delhi where he explained the film's concept. "They were under the impression that this is a gang war film, but it is like any other film, say for instance Rowdy Rathore or Dabanng. The role of Pritam Singh that Sanjay Dutt is essaying is fictitious. While some of the characters are based on people from Ghaziabad, I have not taken any episode from their lives and incorporated it in the film. The writer Vinay Sharma who was born there had heard about those names, hence he wanted to retain some names to make the film look authentic," says the director who stated that the entire storyline was changed to suit everyone's sensibilities and not hurt anyone's sentiments . "That gang war ended in 1986 while the film is based on today's story, set in current scenario to suit today's commercial element," he added.

As for reports of defaming the UP police, Kumar said, "The UP police is one of the finest police forces in the country and I have portrayed that in the film. People have not seen the film, yet they are sitting on a dharna outside the High court, which is really sad. When I asked some old ladies what they were protesting about, they were clueless." Another allegation, some time back, was made by the family of the alleged UP gangster Mahinder Singh Fauji stating that the film was based on Fauji's life. "They had filed a PIL case but the court did not even listen to them. It is a baseless allegation, to find fault without seeing the film," said the director who was even asked to change the title of the film. However, since the film is set in Ghaziabad, he saw no reason to call it something else. "What we realised is that the grudge was the film was not actually shot in Ghaziabad. It was not possible to shoot there with so many actors as it is not a friendly place. So we shot it in Wai."

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