Gangubai Kathiawadi in trouble again. MLA, Kamathipura resident move HC against use of area name in film

Maharashtra MLA Amin Patel and a resident of Kamathipura have moved the Bombay High Court against the use of area name in Gangubai Kathiawadi. The film is set to release on February 25.

Residents of Kamathipura, a neighbourhood in South Mumbai which was once a thriving red light area in the city, have moved the Bombay High Court, seeking removal of references to the area in the film Gangubai Kathiawadi, starring Alia Bhatt.

Over the last many years, with the property prices sky rocketing, the area has seen a huge transformation. The plea filed by the residents said that the reputation of the area has been lowered after the film’s trailer was released. The plea claimed that the movie makes wild, derogatory allegations by portraying the entire area as a red-light hub.

A Bench led by Justice GS Patel will hear the plea on Wednesday.

The petition filed by a woman resident of the area on behalf of 55 other such residents of Kamathipura, has assailed the Censor Board’s decision to certify the film. The plea stated that the social impact the movie will cause is that all girl residents will be termed prostitutes, be teased and taunted, and families will have to live with lowered dignity.

“All cannons of fairness, equity, and justice have been breached and violated,” the petition alleged.

The plea sought a stay on the release of the film and direction to the Censor Board to remove all reference to use of the name ‘Kamathipura’ in the movie.

The local area Congress MLA Amin Patel, too, has filed a separate public interest litigation (PIL) seeking similar relief.

The PIL, filed through advocate Dhruti Kapadia, said that Patel received objections from various quarters, including local social service organisations and the daughter of the film’s protagonist, against the portrayal of the neighbourhood and Gangubhai as a prostitute and alleged ‘mafia queen’.

Residents of Kamathipura, as per media reports, have filed representations objecting to the portrayal of the neighbourhood as a hub of the flesh trade.

The Punarjivan Rahivaasi Seva Mandal, the Akhil Padmashali Samaj, Tiranga Housing Society, Khatik Samaj, and other Gujarati trusts wrote to the petitioner against the film, it was pointed out.

The High Court had earlier stayed a criminal defamation complaint against the producers of the film, actress Alia Bhatt, and others. The defamation complaint was filed by one Babuji Shah who claimed to be the adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi.

The biographical crime drama is set for theatrical release on Friday, February 25.

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