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‘Boycott Netflix’ And ‘Ban Maharaj Film’ Trend On Twitter As Aamir Khan’s Son Junaid Khan Gears Up For Debut

On social media on Thursday, hashtags including “Boycott Netflix” and “Ban Maharaj Film” were popular. Some people even called for the film “Maharaj” to be banned, saying the impending period drama offends religious feelings.

The film, which debuted on Netflix on Friday, features Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan in his feature debut. On X, the hashtag “AamirKhan” was also popular.

The film’s creators claim that “Maharaj” is based on the Maharaj Libel Case of 1862, which was sparked by “allegations of misconduct by a prominent figure” and is set in pre-independence India.

The film, which also stars Jaideep Ahlawat, was directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra and produced by Aditya Chopra under YRF Entertainment.

Unusually, there are no promotions for the movie’s streaming release. With the exception of a poster starring Jaideep and Junaid, the film’s creators have not released any teasers or trailers.

Their characters are positioned next to one other; Ahlawat’s has a ’tilak’ on his forehead, while Junaid’s is wearing a waistcoat and is purportedly a journalist.

Leader of the VHP Sadhvi Prachi was among the several X users who demanded that “Maharaj” be banned.

“Won’t tolerate the disrespect of Sanatan Dharma (Sanatan Dharma ka apmaan sehen nahin karenge). Ban Maharaj Film. #BoycottNetflix,” Prachi wrote on the microblogging site.

In line with a press release published by Netflix last month, “Maharaj” tells the story of journalist and social reformer Karsandas Mulji, who was a trailblazing supporter of women’s rights and social change.

As a student at Mumbai’s Elphinstone College and a follower of the scholar-leader Dadabhai Naoroji, Mulji spoke for the marginalised, wrote about widow remarriage, and planted the seeds of social change.

“It all came to a head in the Maharaj Libel Case of 1862, which was ignited by allegations of misconduct by a prominent figure, the case garnered widespread attention and scrutiny, setting the stage for what many consider to be one of the most significant legal battles of all time,” the streamer said.

Another X user questioned when “Hindu saints” will stop being disparaged in films.

Another alleged that Aamir was launching his son in a “Hindumisic movie creating a false image of Sadhus and the Vallabh Sampradaya, by quoting an incident during the British regime (sic)”.

Such content could alienate the Hindu youth from Sanatan Dharma, he said using ‘#BoycottNetflix’ and asked people to demand a ban on “Maharaj”.

“#BoycottNetflix… Can they dare to do films on other communities, No…!!!! They know the consequences. Hindus are still in deep sleeping (sic),” a user wrote.

However, one of the X users brought up the issue of unfair disparities in the representation of Islam and Hinduism in films.

“Since the film is ‘Maharaj’… it’s on your gods and goddesses and religion, you are calling for a boycott. When it’s about the other community, there is an attempt to sell as much hate as possible through films,” the user said, referring to controversial movies such as “72 Hoorain” and “Hamare Barah”.

The release of Annu Kapoor’s film “Hamare Baarah” was postponed by the Supreme Court on Thursday due to claims that the film disparages Islam and married Muslim women. According to a mandate from the Central Board of Film Certification, the movie also had its title changed from “Hum Do Humare Baraah” to its current one.

The boycott calls for “Maharaj” appear to be a recap of what happened with Aamir’s film “Laal Singh Chaddha”.

Numerous comments advocating for a boycott of the 2022 film brought up a previous controversy from 2015 in which Aamir expressed concern over an increasing number of acts of bigotry in India.

After its theatrical release, the Nayanthara-starring film “Annapoorani” courted controversy as well for offending religious feelings when it was made available on Netflix. After the movie’s creators removed it off the streamer, the actor apologised on social media.

In addition, Shalini Pandey plays a guest cameo alongside Sharvari in “Maharaj”. The movie is a product of the multi-year creative collaboration between Netflix and YRF Entertainment, the digital division of Yash Raj Films.

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