By Arré Bench Oct. 29, 2020
The title of Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film Laxmmi Bomb has now been changed to Laxmii after several fringe right-wing outfits alleged it hurt religious sentiments and was an insult to the goddess. Was the name change really necessary?
The Akshay Kumar-starrer Laxmmi Bomb has been subject to controversy ever since the trailer dropped. While some accused it of promoting “love jihad”, others found the title of the film derogatory and offensive. Sadly, the bullies have won and the movie Laxmmi Bomb has been renamed Laxmii.
— News18 Movies (@News18Movies) October 29, 2020
A statement released by the filmmakers reads, “The film, directed by Raghava Lawrence, went for its censor certificate and post the screening, the makers had a discussion with CBFC. Keeping in mind and respecting the sentiments of its viewers, the producers of the film – Shabinaa Khan, Tusshar Kapoor and Akshay Kumar – have decided to change the title of their film. The horror-comedy is now titled Laxmii.”
This move comes after it was reported that the makers of the film were served with a legal notice from Shri Rajput Karni Sena, demanding title change. A report in Zoom TV states that the legal notice was sent by advocate Raghavendra Mehrotra, on behalf of Shri Rajput Karni Sena accusing the makers of “deliberately” using the title “Laxmmi Bomb” with the intention of lowering the “dignity” and to “disrespect” the goddess. Allegedly the title of the film sends out the wrong message to society towards the “ideology, customs, gods and goddesses of Hindu religion”.
#LaxmmiBomb undergoes a title change! Hence forth it will be known as #Laxmii.
After censors producers decided to change the title “respecting the sentiments of the viewers”.@akshaykumar & @advani_kiara @offl_Lawrence
premieres 9th Nov on @DisneyplusHSVIP pic.twitter.com/snFvjClHZj
— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) October 29, 2020
A few days ago, Vishnu Gupta, founder and national president of the Hindu Sena had taken to Twitter to state, “The name of Hindu Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of fortune and wealth has been used in the movie title along with the word Bomb which is unacceptable to Hindu community. In the said name of the movie Bomb word has been used to provoke the Hindu community.” He tagged Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in his complaint and asked him to take appropriate action against the promoters, cast and crew of the film.
Hindu Sena has given a complaint letter @PrakashJavdekar to take appropriate action against the promoters, cast and crew of the upcoming movie "Laxmmi Bomb" starring @akshaykumar and directed by Sh Raghava Lawrence for making mockery of Hindu Goddess Laxmi's name, @ANI pic.twitter.com/5UjVfXBNJB
— Vishnu Gupta🕉 (@VishnuGupta_HS) October 20, 2020
This is not the first time filmmakers have been bullied to change the title of their film based on “hurt sentiments”. In 2018, after a massive controversy involving death threats and violence, Padmavati became Padmaavat. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was attacked on the sets and certain groups announced bounties on the head of actress Deepika Padukone.
The film saw a delayed release and eventually hit theaters after 300 cuts.
— The Straits Times (@STcom) December 30, 2017
Whether it is Laxmmi or Padmaavat, the trend of fringe groups bullying filmmakers is getting too common. It is no different from the Tanishq ad controversy. In the end, it is just another blow to tolerant India.