Shahrukh Khan’s blockbuster hit film Om Shanti Om is once again in the middle of controversy. After the original protest by veteran Bollywood actor, Manoj Kumar, related to the scenes in the film insulting his personality and character, Kumar has won a court ruling regarding the televising of the film by Sony Entertainment Television.
The scenes show Kumar being hit by police at a film premiere because they fail to distinguish him from an impostor. Manoj said “Can the Mumbai police hit a known star in a public place? It is like saying anyone can impersonate Shahrukh Khan and the real SRK can be lathicharged for trying to attend the premiere of his own movie. How can I accept such humiliation?”
After the first outcry by Manoj Kumar regarding this matter, Shahrukh Khan and Farah Khan, the director of the film, did visit Kumar to personally apologise and agreed to remove the scenes. However, this never happened.
After finding out Sony Entertainment Television bought the television rights to the film, Manoj Kumar decided to file a case against Shahrukh Khan, Farah Khan the director and Sony Entertainment Television, ordering them to delete the scenes before the movie is broadcast by Sony. Manoj said “We had given them sufficient time to rectify the situation. We don’t live in the Stone Age. No one has the right to take potshots at someone else.”
The court judgment by the City Civil Court Judge D.R. Mahajan of Dindoshi Goregaon, orders the producers and Sony Entertainment Television to edit the scenes before showing the film on the Sony channel.
Further to this, Manoj Kumar’s lawyers are now planning to sue the makers of the film with a a criminal case. The case will be against the director Farah Khan and producers Shahrukh Khan and Gauri Khan (SRK’s wife) of Red Chillies Entertainment, for purposely defaming a person in public.
In addition, to the Manoj Kumar saga related to the film, scriptwriter, Ajay Monga has alleged that the basic storyline of the film was copied from his idea. Monga is also taking Sharukh Khan and Farah Khan to court over this matter. Monga says that a script he created called ‘The Silent Movie’ was plagiarised for the Om Shanti Om film because he sent a copy of this script to Red Chillies Entertainment. He states that after sending the script he heard nothing from Red Chillies but realised after the release of Om Shanti Om that there were too many similarities between the two.
It’s evident from all this that Manoj Kumar has set a precedent for makers of Bollywood movies to think twice before projecting any veteran actor in any lampoon or defamatory manner and the importance of script copyrighting is no light matter in the industry.