Pogaru, the Kannada action film starring Dhruva Sarja and Rashmika Mandanna which released on February 19, ran into trouble after members of a community staged a protest claiming that the film hurt their sentiments in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
The members of Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board (KSBDB) and Akhil Karnataka Brahmin Mahasabha claimed that some derogatory words and a controversial scene insulted Hindu Brahmins. The protesters ask for the removal of a scene where a goon can be seen putting his leg on a priest’s shoulder in a violent way.
Pogaru is written and directed by Nanda Kishore and produced by BK Gangadhar.
Following the protest, Sachidananda Murthy, chairman of KSBDB met the director and Dhruva and asked them to remove the scenes. The film’s makers have agreed to delete the scene and certain words from the film.
Nanda Kishore, while addressing the media, said, “I did not do this film with the intention to hurt the sentiments of anyone. This film is a piece of fiction. However, if it had hurt anyone, I apologise for the same to the Brahmin community. I will work on the process to cut certain parts of the film technically.”
Speaking to Silverscreen India, president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce Jayaraj said, “The issue has been amicably settled between the filmmakers and community members by Tuesday evening. The objected scenes will be removed. About 12 frames from the film will be cut and will be going to the Censor board today again (Wednesday).”
However, he said that the screenings of the unedited film cannot be stopped since it has already received a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification.
Several members of the BJP also called out the filmmakers for showing the Hindu Brahmin community in a bad light.
MP Shobha Karandlaje and vice president of BJP Karnataka wrote on her social media, “It has become a fashion to humiliate Hindus & take a ride on our sentiments. Whether they have guts to portray other religions in this manner? Screening of Pogaru film has to be stopped until such objectable scenes are censored. Hurting Hindu emotions can’t be ignored.”
While watching Kannada movie ‘Pogaru’ starring Dhruv Sarja, a scene was found that was derogatory to Brahmins. Shri Sarja, director Shri Nandakishor and Brahman Development Board president Shri Sachidananda Murthy and other leaders of the community discussed the matter1/2
— Aravind Limbavali (@ArvindLBJP) February 22, 2021
This is not the first time the film has landed on a controversy. In April 2020, the filmmakers were called out after the team released the song titled Karabuu. The song showed Mandanna’s character being touched by the male actor without consent. The song received backlash for glorifying sexual harassment and eve-teasing on social media.
Pogaru, which is the first Kannada film to have released after the Covid-19 induced lockdown was lifted, collected over Rs 30 crore, within its first the first three days of its release.