After Uttarakhand Bans Kedarnath, Filmmakers Approach Yogi Adityanath for Name-Change Advice


After Uttarakhand Bans Kedarnath, Filmmakers Approach Yogi Adityanath for Name-Change Advice

Illustration: Ahmed Sikander


he team behind the film Kedarnath has placed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a tough spot. After their film was banned in Uttarakhand following objections from several Hindu groups, the filmmakers approached India’s name-change god for advice on what they should rename their film to bypass this censor. “Yes, they approached us to suggest an alternative name for the movie,” said Prabhu Gaugetter, a close aide of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. “Under normal circumstances, we would have changed the name immediately. But when we heard that the name in question was so closely associated with Lord Shiva, we were in a fix.”

“This happened moments after Yogi ji held a press conference to prove the Bulandshahr mob lynching was an accident. He was ready for his next task. He had also told me not to send any one looking for advice on name changes back empty-handed,” Prabhu said, explaining that he had intimated the CM about the request. “Abh reputation ka sawal hai.”

Meanwhile, news channels have picked up the story and gone wild with it. One ran a story claiming, “Yogi ji was doing hara-kiri by helping out the Urban Naxals who made Kedarnath”. Another asked if he could “cope when Lord Shiva opens his third eye.”

“Yogiji has talked about constructing a Ram Mandir, and a 221-meter Ram statue in Ayodhya, so there is this feeling in some sections that he has ignored Lord Shiva,” said Mr Yogendra Sharma, a leading psephologist. “Now politicians like Rahul Gandhi will take advantage of this situation and declare themselves Shiv bhakts.”

The last we heard, the chief minister’s office has stopped answering calls from the Kedarnath filmmakers and the film crew’s efforts to meet the UP CM were unsuccessful. Mr Prabu, the man who was facilitating the talks, was fired. “This movie is a love jihad movie – a Muslim boy falls in love with Hindu girl. The CM was busy campaigning, he had no idea about that. What was Prabhu smoking,” said the bureaucrat, who took Prabhu’s position.