Mukesh Khanna on CBFC approving controversial movies: ‘Censor board hamara mai baap nahi hai’

Actors Mukesh Khanna and Gajendra Chauhan have spoken about the changes made in the lead characters in Adipurush. In a new interview, Mukesh said that people can make thousands of stories but not make fun of ‘our deities’. He also spoke about showing respect to Hindu characters like ‘they do in the South films’. Gajendra added that Raavan is ‘an integral character of our history’ and if his look is changed, the audience will not accept it. (Also Read | Mukesh Khanna on Adipurush teaser: ‘Hindu Gods are not handsome like Schwarzenegger, they are beautiful’)

Mukesh Khanna and Gajendra Chauhan played mythological characters in the historical television series Mahabharat (1988–1990). Directed by Ravi Chopra, Mukesh played Bhishma while Gajendra essayed the role of Yudhishthir. Produced by BR Chopra, the television series consisted of 94 episodes.

Speaking with Times of India, Mukesh said, “They made Kalyug as an interpretation of Mahabharata. But they never said they are replicating it. Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata cannot be made with technology. Some people say, ‘Who are you to object when the Censor Board has passed it?’ Censor Board koi hamara mai baap nahi hai (not our guardian). It’s not a Supreme Court. Make 1000 stories, but do not make fun of our deities. Then your film will work. Look how Karthikeya 2 worked even when the boycott culture was here. If you use Hindu characters, show them respect like they do in the South films.”

Gajendra said, “Whenever Ram Leela happens, Ram is seen as Ram only. So while there is freedom of speech and expression, you cannot hurt anyone’s sentiments or cross lines. These filmmakers are toying with these characters, and they have failed each time. I have played about 150 characters in my four-decade-long career. So I believe, Lord Shiva should be shown as Shiva, Lord Vishnu should be shown as Vishnu. Likewise, Raavan has also been an integral character of our history. If you try to change his look and ambience, the audience will never accept it.”

Ever since the first teaser of Om Raut’s Adipurush was unveiled, the film and its depiction of Ramayan have been a hot topic of discussion. The mythological movie has been criticised for its poor VFX and the “misrepresentation” of characters. Adipurush features Prabhas as Raghava (inspired by Lord Ram), Kriti Sanon as Janaki (inspired by Sita) and Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh (inspired by Raavan).

The film has been produced by T Series and Retrophiles. It is slated to hit the theatres on January 12, 2023, in IMAX and 3D. Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Om, Prasad Sutar, and Rajesh Nair, the film will be released in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada.

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