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Amid protests, Swami Agnivesh advocates tax exemption for Aamir Khan's 'PK'
Welcomes "the film which takes a swipe at superstitious beliefs and false idol worship practiced in the name of religion
Tuesday December 30, 2014 7:37 PM, IANS

Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh Tuesday advocated tax exemption for Aamir Khan-starrer "PK" in view of the movie's "new message" that would encourage scientific temperament among students across India.

Aamir Khan

Agnivesh welcomed "the film which takes a swipe at superstitious beliefs and false idol worship practiced by some people in the name of religion, said a statement released by his organisation Bandhua Mukti Morcha.

As the film's storyline questions exploitation of devotees and followers in the name of religion, Agnivesh urged people to "ignore the hue and cry made by some of the so-called religious leaders like Swami Ramdev and other religious outfits like Vishva Hindu Parishad or Jamaat-e-Islami Hind".

"It is natural that such religious leaders and institutions are bound to get threatened for their survival as the movie hits out at the blind faith," he said, in the statement.

He congratulated Central Board of Film Certification chairperson Leela Samson for rejecting a review of the screening certificate to the film despite pressure from religious fundamentalists.

"PK" has raked in Rs.246.32 crore and is going strong at the box office, but some of the film's contents have not gone down well with Hindutva elements and the filmmaker is saddened by it.

Protests have been staged in various places like the capital, Bhopal, Agra and Ahmedabad by the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists.

And Rajkumar Hirani, director of the film, is concerned.

"I'm deeply saddened and concerned about the protests by some groups against our film 'PK'. On behalf of the entire team of 'PK', I would like to clarify that we respect all religions and faiths," Hirani, who has directed films like "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" and "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.", said in a statement.

"Our film is inspired by the ideas of Sant Kabir and Mahatma Gandhi. It is a film which brings to fore the thought that all humans who inhabit this planet are the same. There are no differences. In fact, I have the highest respect for the concept of 'Advait' - the oneness of all humans - that is central to Indian culture, thought, and religion," Hirani said.

"It saddens me to think that a film that upholds this great Hindu principle is accused of being disrespectful of Hinduism. I would like to thank the millions of deeply religious people who have loved the film and expressed their feeling that the film, in fact, upholds the spirit of true religiosity and condemns only the abuse of it," he added.

The director, who also questioned the education system of India in Aamir Khan-starrer "3 Idiots", says the intention of the team of "PK" was not to hurt anyone's feelings.

"I appeal to the groups protesting against our film to see the film in totality and not just isolated scenes. Our intention is not to hurt anyone, or to discriminate against any religion. I would once again like to assure them that I have the highest regard towards all religions, and that we respect all religions and faiths," he said.

"I believe in the great Hindu idea - 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - the whole world is a family. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and indeed all religions, teach us brotherhood and love. The intent of the film is to uphold this great thought," he added.


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