Much ado about eating beef; Ranbir, Alia stopped from visiting Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain
Actors Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, who are currently promoting their film Brahmastra-Part 1: Shiva, were unable to offer their prayers in the famous Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain on Tuesday (September 7) due to protests at the spot over Kapoor’s old comment about eating beef.
The Bollywood star couple had to return to Mumbai without visiting the temple because Bajrang Dal members were protesting over an 11-year-old comment made by Ranbir Kapoor during the promotions of his film, Rockstar. At that time, he had allegedly said that he likes beef.
“My family is from Peshawar, so a lot of Peshawari food has come with them. I am a mutton, paya, beef…red meat guy. I’m a big beef guy,” he had said during an interview. The old video has resurfaced and Ranbir is being called ‘beef guy from Peshawar’ by the boycott gang.
The ‘Beef Guy’ Ranbir Kapoor, his arrogant wife Alia Bhatt & the confused ‘Brahmastra’ director, Ayan Mukherjee were booted out of Ujjain’s Mahakal temple by the protesting hindus there. The trio escaped b4 completing their temple run.👇#BoycottBramhashtra #CulturalGenocide pic.twitter.com/Wm1rhwenHd
— Ranita Ch (@ChRanita) September 6, 2022
Bajrang Dal, which is linked to the state’s ruling BJP as part of the Sangh Parivar, gathered at the temple to protest against the comment which has been circulating on social media. Some social media users have been actively digging up old interviews of the actor sparking off a huge backlash. Posts have emerged with the hashtag #BoycottBrahmastra on Twitter.
The film’s director, Ayan Mukherji, meanwhile, managed to visit the temple with the rest of the Brahmastra crew to “take the blessings of Lord Shiva”. Ayan shared a picture of himself seeking blessings and wrote, “3 DAYS AWAY…🤞🕉💥 Feel very happy and energised to have visited Mahakaleshwar Temple today… Got the most beautiful darshan…Wanted to make this visit to close the film-making journey on Brahmāstra, and to get all the positive energy and blessings for our Release #brahmastra”.
‘No one stopped them’: MP home minister
On Wednesday (September 9), Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra told the media that no one had stopped the couple from offering prayers and the officials had asked them to go ahead. “No one stopped them from offering prayers, they decided on their own not to go there,” he said, adding that the Ujjain administration had briefed him about the entire episode.
“The administration had requested them to go ahead to offer prayers and there was adequate security, but they decided not to go there. No one stopped them,” he said.
The protesters meanwhile held black flags and placards and shouted slogans against the film star outside the temple. Bajrang Dal workers raised ‘Jai Shriram’ slogans when Ranbir and Alia arrived at the spot to take darshan. “We will not allow them to worship at the holy Mahakaleshwar temple as a few days back Ranbir had said that he likes to eat mutton, chicken and beef in non-veg food,” said Bajrang Dal leader Ankit Choube.
The police tried to disperse the protesters and some were even beaten up. One police officer told the media that a Bajrang Dal member was the one who first started to breach the security.
This selective protest before every movie release has become an industry& a lobby, if not collectively pushed back we are fast heading into an abyss of hate,fear& silence. The entertainment industry is an employment generator, lakhs depend on it. Speak up. https://t.co/tLpybJ7JjF
— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) September 7, 2022
Slamming the protests against the Bollywood star, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi castigated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her post. She shared a viral photo of Bollywood actors with PM Modi, and wrote that none of this photo op will help if you’ll continue to be mute spectators to hate and believe it’s not your business to talk politics. “They will come after you anyway. Mahakaleshwar temple protests in Ujjain is a case in point. Shame that political prejudice is leading to such ugliness,” she said.
The first part of the hugely-anticipated Brahmastra trilogy will debut in the cinemas on Friday. It has been in the making for almost ten years. Apart from Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna Akkineni play pivotal roles in the modern mythological drama.