Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor and Ayan Mukherji were set to visit the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh yesterday but had to back out last minute due to protests by right-wing activists. Since the release of its trailer, Mukherji's upcoming film has been facing calls for a boycott. There are multiple reasons for this boycott trend.
Many recent films from Bollywood have faced calls for a boycott on social media, be it Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha, Akshay Kumar's Rakshabandhan or even Ananya Panday and Vijay Deverakonda's Liger. The latest to face this pre-release digital flak is Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva, Ayan Mukherjee's much-anticipated project that took almost five years to complete. The social media users have expressed their dislike towards the cast and crew of the film and the reason for this varies for every other person.
However, the recent protests by right-wing activists in Ujjain were sparked by an 11-year-old statement by Kapoor in which he admitted to eating beef. In an interview, while promoting his film Rockstar, Kapoor had said, "My family is from Peshawar, so a lot of Peshawari food has come with them. I am a mutton, paya, and beef fan. Yeah, I am a big beef fan."
Kapoor's ">admission that he is a big fan of beef seems to have upset many right-wingers, especially since Brahmastra is based on Hindu mythology and Hinduism doesn't permit the consumption of beef.
Suggested Readings: Shefali Shah Says Boycott Bollywood Trend Won't Last Long
Alia Bhatt stopped from visiting temple, Brahmastra faces calls for boycott
Ever since actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death in 2020, viewers have been calling out Bollywood for its bias against outsiders. At the centre of this debate is Karan Johar, whose banner Dharma Productions has produced Brahmastra. Since Johar is known to launch careers of many star kids with his production house, fans of Rajput targeted him for enabling nepotism in the industry.
A Twitter user criticised Johar's behaviour towards Rajput and wrote, "Karan Johar hated Sushant. He insulted him many times on Koffee with Karan to kill Sushant's morale KJo destroyed Sushant's career by making him re-shoot for DRIVE movie twice & by not allowing him to do any other movie Finally DRIVE Movie was released on OTT #BoycottBramhastra".
The call for boycott against Brahmastra is not just because it has been produced by Johar, but also because it features Kapoor and Bhatt, who hail from families known to have a long association with the industry, spanning generations.
However, soon-to-be-parents are also being targetted for their individual statements. Bhatt said in a ">recent interview that she was tired of defending herself and that if somebody doesn't like her, they should not watch her film. People pointed out that when the actor herself is saying so, they should not watch Brahmastra.