A complaint has been filed against Vishwak Sen after a prank staged by the Telugu actor while promoting his upcoming film, Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam, backfired.
Ashok Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam is said to be a family entertainer, in which Sen plays Arjun Kumar Allam, a 30+ man in search of a bride. After several delays, the film is slated for theatrical release on Friday. As part of the promotions for the film, Sen orchestrated a prank on a street in Hyderabad, the video of which has since gone viral. The video shows a supposed fan pouring a liquid substance over himself and trying to set himself on fire, while Sen and a few others try to prevent him from harming himself. The prank was staged on the side of a busy road with moving traffic, and bystanders are seen filming the scene.
After the video went viral, a complaint was lodged with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) by lawyer Arun Kumar, claiming that the publicity stunt caused nuisance for the public. Speaking to the media, the lawyer said, “Just for YouTube exposure, they have made a prank video, which is not right. A lot of children and people would be seeing it on social media. The video was also made without permissions on a road with traffic, creating nuisance.”
In the aftermath of the prank, Sen was invited by Telugu news channel TV9 to discuss the issue. The actor engaged in a heated argument with a news anchor, who subsequently asked Sen to “get out” of the studio.
The videos of the TV debate have also gone viral on the internet. Sen further shared a clip of anchor Devi Nagavavalli on his Instagram stories, in which she refers him as “paagal (crazy) Sen” and “depressed,” and wrote, “How fair is this?”
The actor responded to Nagavavalli’s comments during the course of the show, saying, “You don’t have the right to attack me personally. You better mind your tongue and not call me a depressed person or paagal Sen.”
Following this, the anchor asked Sen to “get out” of the studio, and the actor lashed out that it was the news channel that had contacted him for an interview, before walking out of the newsroom.
Sen clarified at a recent event that the original video was a prank staged as part of the promotions for his upcoming film. “I request everyone to take it as a prank video and it was only done for fun. Past is past, and whatever has happened is unfortunate. I would like to forget it. I do not want to cause any controversy for this film, which I have promoted vastly. I have travelled to cities, given interviews day and night, and visited colleges. I did not have any bad intentions behind doing the prank video,” he said.
Ashok Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam is directed by Vidhya Sagar Chinta. The film is backed by Bapineedu, and Sudheer Edara and is based on a story written by filmmaker Ravikiran Kola. Aside from Sen, it also stars Goparaju Ramana, Kadambari Kiran, and Kedar Shankar.