The Alia Bhatt starrer film is now facing legal trouble after several people have come forward claiming to be the family members of the main protagonist, Gangubai Kathiawadi and have objected to her portrayal in the movie.
This movie is based on the life of Gangubai Harjeevandas Kathiawadi. She was a native of the state of Gujarat who had earned a name for herself as one of Mumbai’s well-known brothel owners in the 1960s and 1970s. As per the reports, she was sold to a brothel owner in Kamathipura which is the city’s oldest and most notorious red-light district by her husband. She ended up operating her brothel and was also known for lobbying for the rights of commercial sex workers in the city.
There are not many modern accounts of Gangubai’s life. The movie starring Alia Bhatt is based on the book named “Mafia Queens of Mumbai” written by S. Hussain Zaidi which dwells on some facets of her life. She is said to have been an advocate of the rights of commercial sex workers and had also lobbied with politicians on the same issue. However, there are no contemporary claims to back these claims. She had passed away in the mid-1970s and never had children of her own. But several people were reportedly adopted by her.
Ever since the movie based on her life was announced, these people have come forward and have objected to the portrayal of Gangubai in the film and have sought a stay on the release of the movie across the nation. Last year in March, a court in Mumbai had issued summons to actor Alia Bhatt and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali based on a complaint that was filed by a man who had claimed to be Gangubai’s adopted son.
The petitioner had claimed that the trailer of the movie was titled after his mother and the movie showed his mother as a prostitute and a mafia queen. It was also claimed by the petitioner that after the release of the trailer of the film, the female members of his family who were living in the redlight areas of Kamathipura had been victims of several objectionable, abusive, mean comments by men, that has affected their reputation.
A civil court earlier had dismissed a suit that was filed by the complainant seeking permanent order from the making and telecasting of the movie. As of now, a case seeking a stay on the film is pending before the Supreme Court of India. The movie has already been released at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 16, 2022, and is all set to be released in India on February 25, 2022.