Based on the life of mafia queen Gangubai Kothewali, Alia Bhatt starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi will be releasing next week. the film’s release has been marred by not only the pandemic, but also a petition filed by one Babu Raoji Shah. The person had also slammed the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, for the “vulgar” portrayal of Gangubai.
In 2021, Shah had filed a petition against the makers of Gangubai Kathiawadi, which is based on a book by Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges named Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories Of Women From The Ganglands. The Bombay High Court refused to issue a stay on the release of the film and in its interim order stayed the criminal defamation proceedings against the makers of the film. Both Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Alia Bhatt were summoned in connection with the case
Who Is Babu Raoji Shah?
Babu Raoji Shah is the adopted son of Gangubai. He has repeatedly expressed displeasure over the portrayal of his mother in the above-mentioned book and film, also taking legal action to block them from public access. In a recent interview, Shah said, “My mother has been turned into a prostitute. People are now saying inexplicable things about my mother.”
The lawyer representing Gangubai’s family said that the family is in shock since the release of the trailer. According to him, the fight began in 2020 when Shah came to know that a film was being made on his mother.
Since then the family has been in hiding and “shifting homes”, moving to Andheri or Borivali. He further said that a notice has been sent to Bhansali and Zaidi, however, there has been no response form their end yet.
All about Gangubai’s children
According to granddaughter Bharti, Gangubai had adopted four children–two daughters named Shakuntala Ranjit Kawi and Sushila Reddy, and two sons named Babu Raoji Shah and Rajinikanth Raoji Shah.
Speaking on the issue of Gangubai’s portrayal in films and books and how they didn’t seek permission from the family, Bharti said, “The makers have defamed my family out of greed for money. It cannot be accepted. You did not ask for the family’s onset before going ahead with the project. You did not come to us while writing the book, nor did you seek our permission before making the film.”
Bharti also spoke on the legal issues that the film has landed the film into. “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.”