Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra
BOLLYWOOD producers have put off the release of at least one big-ticket film this week fearing communal violence in the wake of a court verdict in the Ayodhya case.
A court will rule on Friday (September 24) whether Hindus or Muslims own land around the demolished Babri mosque in Ayodhya, a judgment haunted by memories of a 1992 riot, some of the country’s worst violence since Partition.
The case over the 16th century Babri mosque in Uttar Pradesh is one of the biggest security challenges in India this year, along with a Maoist insurgency and a Kashmiri separatist rebellion, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said.
Anjaana Anjaani starring Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor, will now open in Indian cinemas on October 1.
“There is no denying that the Ayodhya issue is much bigger and needs its respect,” Sajid Nadiadwala, the producer of Anjaana Anjaani was quoted as saying in a statement released by his publicist.
“The film is a very happy one and celebrates life, hence releasing it on a peaceful day would be preferred,” he said.
The release of Robot, billed as India’s most expensive film, has also been postponed till October 1 but a publicist said the decision had nothing to do with the Ayodhya case verdict.
The film features south Indian superstar Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in leading roles.
“For those who have invested so much money in their films, it is better to be safe rather than sorry,” said trade analyst Vajir Singh.
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