Mumbai, Feb 13 (Calcutta Tube) Unmindful of the Shiv Sena protests against Shah Rukh Khan, thousands of Mumbaikars Friday trooped out to watch ‘My Name Is Khan’ and were clearly awestruck.
Movie buffs were unanimous in their opinion that the Shiv Sena had erred in questioning Shah Rukh’s credentials as an Indian and said the megastar was being wrongly targeted.
‘We are with Shah Rukh Khan. What the Sena is doing is absolutely wrong. In fact, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray should apologise to him for creating problems for him,’ said a woman who came out of the Fun Republic cinema in the afternoon.
Making similar demands for an apology from the Sena for attempting to disrupt the movie, other patrons challenged the Sena’s right to question Shah Rukh’s ‘Indian’ credentials.
‘Who are they to question his patriotism? He is an Indian, will always remain an Indian and we are all with him. Goondaism and terrorism will not work in this country. The Sena people should also go and watch this movie and they will learn a few lessons from it,’ said a young man, Bipin Singh, at Nariman Point.
The movie ‘MNIK’ has evoked a huge response among Mumbaikars, cutting across religious lines, and many wanted to catch it during the three-day holiday weekend.
Though many people were deterred by the Sena activists’ violent tactics, they expressed their intention to watch the movie at the first available opportunity.
Others also questioned the Sena’s tactics of threatening theatres and viewers.
‘We have elected a government and it will protect us. The Shiv Sena has no right to prevent anybody from going to watch the movie or they will be again rejected by the people,’ said Sharadbhai Parikh in suburban Malad who could not watch the movie despite having a confirmed booking for his entire family this afternoon at Broadway Cinema in Kandivli.
An executive with a multinational pharma company, Sunita P., wondered why the Sena was bent upon inconveniencing people with its violent campaign on ‘non-issues’ and damaging multiplexes and cinema halls.
‘It is high time the government does something to stop the party’s unruly behaviour and prove that democracy is stronger than mobocracy,’ she said.
Media personality Dolly Thakore also said that the movie has a strong, positive message for the people.
‘I came despite the Sena threats since we must show that we are not scared of that party, that people will raise their voice against it without getting cowed down by their threats,’ Thakore said.
This is the second time in one week that the Shiv Sena appears to have earned public ire over its aggressive policies.
Last week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took on the Sena with a brief four-hour trip to Mumbai during which he pitted divisive politics against the concept of national unity.