Punjab bans ‘The Legend of Michael Mishra’ over religious references

A day ahead of its release, the Punjab government has announced a ban on the Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani and Aditi Rao Hydari starrer comedy film ‘The Legend of Michael Mishra'.

The screening of the film across the state has been suspended for two months. The decision has been taken keeping in view the prevailing strong resentment among the Balmiki community over some references to Maharishi Balmiki in the film, a spokesperson of the Punjab government informed on Thursday (August 5).

"The decision was aimed at keeping intact the hard earned peace and social harmony in the state as the screening of this film may invite massive protests," the spokesman added.

A series of protests were being held in Jalandhar city by Balmiki unions since the past one week. A preview screening of the movie was arranged for the community at Big Cinemas at Viva College Mall in Jalandhar on Wednesday night.

Nearly 50 people of Balmiki community from the city attended the screening along with the officials and demanded the ban.

“We requested the filmmakers to delete some scenes that the Balmiki community members are raising objection on, but the scenes are still a part of the movie. They have only muted the volume,” Assistant inspector general intelligence, Jalandhar, Mandeep Singh was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Directed by Manish Jha who has previously offered critically acclaimed films like ‘Anwar’, ‘Mumbai Cutting’ and ‘Matrubhoomi’, the comedy flick will see Boman Irani sharing screen space with his elder son Kayoze for the first time. The movie is set to release tomorrow, August 5.