Laxmmi Bomb Apparently Promotes “Love Jihad”. Is There Anything Indians Will Not Take Offence To?

Social Commentary

Laxmmi Bomb Apparently Promotes “Love Jihad”. Is There Anything Indians Will Not Take Offence To?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

If taking offence were an Olympic sport, India would have won gold. We find everything offensive, from ads to names, drawings, apps, books and movies. Akshay Kumar-starrer Laxmmi Bomb is the latest to face flak, as some people have claimed that its title is “offensive” and the film promotes “Love Jihad”.

Criticism has been directed towards Akshay Kumar, with #ShameOnUAkshayKumar trending on Twitter. Turns out, even being close to PM Modi doesn’t save you from incessant online trolling. Producer of the film Shabeena Khan has also been targeted as a “separatist” for her views on Kashmir, and calls to boycott the film have grown louder over the past few days.

Vishnu Gupta, the founder and National President of Hindu Sena took to Twitter to announce that the organisation was launching a formal complaint against the film. Hindu Sena has objected to the film’s title, calling it “derogatory” and “offensive.”

Gupta shared a letter sent by the Hindu Sena addressed to Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting. He has urged the minister “to take action against the promoters, cast and crew of the upcoming movie Laxmmi Bomb” for making a mockery of Hindu Goddess Laxmi’s name. The letter also alleges that since Goddess Laxmi is worshipped during Diwali, the film’s release has been scheduled during the festival so as to provoke the Hindu community.

Social media trolls have also taken exception to the fact that the actor’s name in the film is Asif while the actress’s name is Priya. It has been cited as a case of “love jihad”, an allegation that was also laid on the Tanishq ad recently which showcased a happy interfaith marriage where the family was celebrating diverse traditions.

Akshay Kumar’s “Canadian” citizenship has been invoked as a taunt, along with the unrelated fact that his wife supported Rhea Chakraborty. The rage against Bollywood continues as #BoycottBollywood is back on trending lists. The Sushant Singh Rajput “army” has converged with religious groups online to target Bollywood at large, because they didn’t seem to be supporting the Sushant Singh investigation and were “all against him”.

For many, the chickens have come home to roost. In spite of interviewing PM Modi, praising government schemes, and even donating a hefty amount of money to the PM Cares Fund, the online armies have come for Akshay Kumar and his movie. No amount of pandering to the establishment could save him from the wrath of the IT Cell.

Another day, another call for boycotting a film. It is Laxmmi Bomb today, it was 800 yesterday, and the Tanishq ad a few days back. We are a nation of hurt sentiments.