Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was at the center of controversy on Friday, which is not about his film ‘Fail Kashmirbut for stating that the term ‘Bhopali’ means “homosexual” in the local language.
State Congress leaders slammed him for “insulting” the city, and demanded an apology.
Video clips of Mr Agnihotri’s interview to the online channel became contagious ahead of his visit to Bhopal on Friday to attend a film festival.
The clip, said to be three weeks old, shows Mr Agnihotri saying in Hindi, “I was raised in Bhopal, but I am not a Bhopali. Because Bhopali has different connotations. You can ask any Bhopali. I will explain it to you. personally. If someone says he is Bhopali, it generally means he is homosexual, someone who has a Nawabi liking. “
Among those who objected to Agnihotri’s statement was senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
“Vivek Agnihotri ji, this may be your personal experience. This is not the experience of ordinary Bhopal residents. I have been associated with Bhopal and Bhopalis since 1977, but my experience is not so. The influence of the company has an impact, wherever you live,” Mr Singh wrote in Twitter.
– digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) 25 March 2022
Mr Agnihotri has also been harassed on social media, where many Bhopal netizens questioned his comments, which they felt were unpleasant.
Former state minister PC Sharma apologized to Agnihotri, saying Bhopal is famous for the cultural heritage of Raja Bhoj, Bharat Bhawan, arts and culture of the city.
Mr Agnihotri had committed a crime by using words like “homosexual” for the people of Bhopal, he added.
Media Congress MP in charge KK Mishra asked whether home minister Narottam Mishra would take action against Mr Agnihotri, as in the case of several other film producers who have faced the wrath of the state government in recent times.
Workers of the National Student Union of India (NSUI) led by its Bhopal unit president Abhimanyu Tiwari burned Mr Agnihotri’s poster and demanded an apology from him.
Madhya Pradesh Congress media cell vice-president Bhupendra Gupta described Mr Agnihotri’s statement as insulting to 25 lakh Bhopal residents, and demanded chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan not take part in any public programs with Mr Agnihotri until the latter apologized.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)