Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film Gangubai Kathiawadi has stirred a hornet’s nest as Gangubai’s family is not happy about her depiction in the Alia Bhatt-starrer film. Gangubai’s family comprises her adopted son Babu Raoji Shah and her granddaughter Bharti. Babu Raoji Shah told AajTak.in, “My mother has been turned into a prostitute. People are now saying inexplicable things about my mother.”
Her granddaughter Bharti has alleged the filmmakers of defaming their family for greed and said that this cannot be accepted. She further elaborated that they never asked for the family’s consent neither before going ahead with the film nor while writing this book.
She further said, “My grandmother used to live in Kamathipura. So, did every woman living there become a prostitute? My grandmother had adopted four children there- two daughters, Shakuntala Ranjit Kawi (Bharti’s mother) and Sushila Reddy and two sons, Babu Raoji Shah and Rajinikanth Raoji Shah. We are from this family but now we’ve been termed ‘illegal’. When our grandmother went through with the adoption, such strict adoption laws were not in place.”
Bharti said that the family proudly narrates Gangubai’s stories and that she worked for the upliftment of sex workers in Kamathipura throughout her life. She was aghast at what the makers of Gangaubai Kathiawadi portrayed her grandmother to be.
Gangubai’s family had filed a petition against the makers of Gangubai Kathiawadi in 2021, following which a Mumbai court summoned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Alia Bhatt in the case. Bombay High Court refused to stay the release of the film and granted an interim stay on the criminal defamation proceedings against the makers of the film.
The case is still pending closure. He also said that notices have been sent to Bhansali and Hussain Zaidi but there has been no response from them so far. He also said that although they have proved that Babu Raoji Shah was indeed Gangubai’s son in the Bombay High Court, there has been no hearing in the matter till date.
Narendra, the lawyer of Gangubai’s family in the case said that the entire family has been in shock ever since the trailer has released. He further said that Gangubai’s portrayal in the trailer is “completely wrong and baseless” and “vulgar”. He further noted, “You are representing a social activist as a prostitute. Which family would like it? You have made her [Gangubai] a vamp and a lady don.”
The family lawyer further underlined that their fight began in 2020 when Babu Raoji Shah got to know that a film was being made on the life and times of Gangubai after he saw his mother’s photo in the promo.
Narendra further commented on what the family has gone through ever since the first promo dropped and said, “Since then, the family has been in hiding. They are shifting homes, moving to Andheri or Borivali. Many relatives have raised questions over the portrayal, asking the family if Gangubai was really a prostitute and not a social worker as they had said. The family’s mental state is not good. No one is able to live in peace.”
Gangubai Kathiawadi story
The film is based on Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of Women from the Ganglands. According to this book, Gangubai was reportedly betrayed by her partner and pushed into prostitution. Following this, she became the owner of a brothel in the Kamathipura area of Mumbai. She is also known to have built contacts with underworld criminals and politicians.
Besides Alia Bhatt, the film features actors like Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz, Seema Pahwa, Shantanu Maheshwari and Parth Samthaan in significant roles.
Watch Gangubai Kathiawadi trailer
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