Protesters of Salman Khan’s ‘Loveratri’ Are Just Mad the Film Let Out Their Dirty Little Secret


Sep 19, 2018


Salman Khan’s latest production, Loveratri, has been accused of hurting Hindu sentiments, promoting vulgarity, and denigrating the goddess Durga — because of its pun on the Hindu festival, ‘Navratri.’ So after protests last week by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, as well as an FIR filed by Bihar’s Muzzafarpur court against Khan and seven other actors in the film, the film’s name has been changed to Loveyatri.

Yup. After all his crimes, Sallu Bhai is finally held accountable for something. Although… we have to ask, why are people so mad about this?

The film seems innocent enough. Directed by Abhiraj Minawala, it follows Sushrut (Aayush Sharma), a garba teacher who falls in love with Michelle (Warina Hussain), an NRI visiting town during Navratri. It’s a love story that happens to be set around a Hindu festival. Harmless, right?

The fall-out, though, has included complaints under IPC sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship), 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings), 153 (want only giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153B (assertions, imputations prejudicial to national integration) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), and a right-wing group declaring a reward of Rs. 500,000 for anyone who ‘thrashes’ Khan. 

There’s also the fact that the movie will be released on 5 October, right around the festival time, which led Ajaykumar Waghmare to claim that the movie portrays “Navratri as only a festival full of lewdness and amorousness,” in his petition to the Aurangabad bench of the High Court. The petition demands that Khan apologize to “all Hindus and all women.” 

Can we be real for a second? These right-wing, conscientious upholders of Hindutva don’t really care about Hinduism (at least in this instance) or women (in most instances). They care that Loveratri is … kind of accurate. Navratri, or ‘Nine Nights,’ is a festival that involves fasting and praying, but it’s also a time when people come together, in those night-long garba parties, and erm… ‘play dandiya‘ pretty enthusiastically.

The jokes and whispers that go along with the festival aren’t without cause. Condom sales rise dramatically during the holidays, especially around Navratri, and volunteers from NGOs are sent specifically to dance venues to educate people about safe sex. There’s also a spike in the market for private detectives, who are hired by families to follow their teenagers as they hop from garba party to party. Unsurprisingly, the spread of STDs and post-Navratri abortions are not uncommon.

Honestly, Loveratri‘s story seems tame in comparison. If Khan really wanted to do a Navratri film right, he’d change the story instead of the title. In the real world, Loveratri would probably feature Sushrut and Michelle’s attempt at a one-night stand that spins into a 24-hour quest for emergency contraception, which they can’t get because angry Hindutva men are picketing the chemist. But then Sushrut’s Muslim friend tweets an innocuous statement, and the men get distracted enough by their Twitter war, for Michelle to grab what she needs, before the private detective who was tailing her, catches up. 

100% would watch.


Written By Nadia Nooreyezdan

Nadia Nooreyezdan is The Swaddle’s culture editor. Since graduating from Columbia Journalism School, she spends her time thinking about aliens, cyborgs, and social justice sci-fi. She’s also working on a memoir about her family’s journey from Iran to India.


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