Gangubai Kathiawadi's son Babuji Rawji Shah has filed a lawsuit against renowned Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is making a movie based on the real life story of his mother that claims she had ties with the underworld during the 1960s. The lawsuit is also against Alia Bhatt, who plays the lead character in the movie.
The case was filed as Shah has alleged "defamation, indecent representation of women, and circulation of obscene and indecent material".
Shah's lawyer Narendra Dubey told the Indian news website The Print that he and his family have been subjected to harassment because people in his locality are calling them "a prostitute family" due to the movie and has demanded production of the film be halted.
Shah, who continues to live in Kamathipura, India's biggest red light area in Mumbai, is one of four children adopted by Gangubai.
"Ever since the promo of the film came out, rumours have spread and Shah has been harassed in his locality. His leg was fractured from being hit. His relatives are also suffering as they are now being known as coming from a 'prostitute family'", Shah's lawyer Narendra Dubey said.
Shah, who continues to live in Kamathipura, says that ever since the teaser of the film came out he has been physically and verbally harassed in his locality and that even his relatives are being mocked as coming from a ‘prostitute family’.#PastReturns https://t.co/ltClFwcsRi— Moni (@Taltos2020) December 27, 2020
The movie is based on the crime novel "Mafia Queens of Mumbai" written by author Hussain Zaidi and reporter Jane Borges. Shah has also filed a case against them and has sought a permanent restraining order on printing and circulation of the book.
Shah reportedly objected to the second half of the book (from pages 50 to 69) that details Gangubai's life. He called it defamatory in nature and an infringement upon his right to privacy, self-respect, and liberty.
The first hearing of the case was held at the Bombay Civil Court and the defendants have been given until 7 January to respond.
The family members of Gangubai have filed a case against actress #AliaBhatt and #SanjayLeelaBhansali in a Bombay Civil Court. They have raised questions over the story narrated in the movie. Book writer #HussainZaidi also files complaint against the two.#GangubaiKathiawadi pic.twitter.com/2UQmocjFnZ— B&B Associates LLP (@bnb_legal) December 24, 2020
Netizens have taken to social media slamming the makers for violating Shah's right to privacy.
Shame on #aliabhatt & @SanjayLeelaB for actually making life hell of the children of d movie character they are portraying in their movie #GangubaiKathiawadi ! WHERE'S THE FREEDOM OF PRIVACY OF THE CHARACTERS FAMILY NOW ?— The Nerd (@sweta50337531) December 27, 2020
Right step is taken by the son of a mother.— Anika Khan (@AnikaKh14495972) December 27, 2020
The movie "Gangubai Kathiawadi" was scheduled for release on 11 September but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.