Bhopal: Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was at the centre of a controversy Friday. However, this one was not about his film The Kashmir Files, but for stating that the term ‘Bhopali’ means ‘homosexual’ in local parlance. Madhya Pradesh Congress leaders lashed out at Vivek Agnihotri for ‘insulting’ the city, and demanded apology.
A video clip of Agnihotri’s interview to an online channel went viral ahead of his visit here Friday to participate in a film festival. The clip, said to be three weeks old, shows Agnihotri saying in Hindi, “I have grown up in Bhopal, but I am not a ‘Bhopali’. This is because ‘Bhopali’ has a different connotation. You can ask any Bhopali. I will explain it to you in private. If someone says he is Bhopali, it generally means he is homosexual, a person with Nawabi likings.”
Among those who objected to Agnihotri’s remark was senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. “Vivek Agnihotri ji, this might be your personal experience. This is not the experience of an ordinary Bhopal resident. I have been associated with Bhopal and Bhopalis since 1977, but my experience has not been so. The influence of company has an effect, wherever you may live,” Singh tweeted.
Agnihotri was also trolled on social media, where many Bhopal netizens questioned his sweeping comment, which they felt was in bad taste.
Former Madhya Pradesh minister PC Sharma demanded apology from Agnihotri. He saying Bhopal is known for the cultural heritage of Raja Bhoj, the Bharat Bhawan, arts, and the city’s culture. Agnihotri has committed a crime by using words like ‘homosexual’ for the people of Bhopal.
MP Congress’ media in-charge KK Mishra asked if the home minister Narottam Mishra will take action against Agnihotri, like in the case of some other film producers who have faced the state government’s wrath in recent times.
National Students Union of India (NSUI) workers led by its Bhopal unit president Abhimanyu Tiwari set afire posters of Agnihotri and demanded apology from him.