Despite making a film that has been a huge box office success, Rajkumar Hirani, director of the film PK, has been inundated with complaints concerning the perceived disrespect of the movie toward Hinduism.
While he has been rejecting these allegations and asserting that his film focuses on the common elements of humanity, the film has been the target of protests instigated by groups with right-wing ideologies. Hirani has been insistent that his film was not intended to be an assault on the sentiments of those who are religious. Instead, he says, his film is intended to be a spotlight on “the abuse” of religion while promoting and upholding religion’s true spirit and the interconnected nature of all people.
Aamir Khan, star of PK, appeared in the nude on a poster for the film, with a strategically placed transistor covering his genitals. The poster drew fire for its lasciviousness and the film garnered even more attention from religious groups for the way it deals with the concepts of God-men and blind faith. Protests have been cropping up in many areas throughout India and two Hindu activist groups, the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, intruded on a screening of the film on December 28, while activists from the Bajrang Dal group were involved in attacking two theaters showing the film in Ahmedabad the next day.
Aamir maintains that the film is not intended to be disrespectful. He says those involved with the film, which is overwhelmingly Hindu, “respect all religions”. Many experts have chimed in with the opinion that so much controversy will only increase interest in the film. Well-respected members of the community have iterated that those who disagree with the premise of the film are not under any obligation to view it.
It was just announced that the film is set to break Pakistani box office records.