Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan has issued a statement apologising for his recent comment where he said his upcoming film Adipurush was going to show the “humane” side of Ravan, justifying the abduction of Sita.
The statement created a stir on social media and many saw it as an attempt to distort cultural facts and even demanded for Saif’s replacement in the film.
While talking about the big release, Saif had said: “We will make him humane, up the entertainment quotient, justify his abduction of Sita and the war with Ram as revenge for what was done to his sister Surpanakha.”
Backed by T-Series, Adipurish is an on-screen adaptation of the epic Ramayana which features Baahubali star Prabhas as Lord Ram and Saif as antagonist Lankesh. The film will be directed by Om Raut.
Objecting to the comments, BJP leader Ram Kadam had tweeted: “Actor #SaifAliKhan makes an extremely shocking statement regarding his forthcoming film Adipurush. Saif who plays Ravan’s character says Ravan’s abduction of Sita Maa will be justified in the film. Ravan’s humane side will be shown and his war against Sri Ram will be justified.”
Later, clarifying his statement, the 50-year-old actor told Mumbai Mirror: “I’ve been made aware that one of my statements during an interview, has caused a controversy and hurt people’s sentiments. This was never my intention or meant that way. I would like to sincerely apologise to everybody and withdraw my statement.”
He added: “Lord Ram has always been the symbol of Righteousness & Heroism for me. Adipurush is about celebrating the victory of good over evil and the entire team is working together to present the epic without any distortions.”
A few months back, the movie had landed in a soup when it was announced that Saif Ali Khan would play the role of Lankesh. Several netizens had expressed their displeasure against the choice of actor for the role, owing to Saif’s “views” on the history of India.
The actor had courted controversy by coming up with theories about India’s cultural past, saying “the concept of Bharat did not exist before the British came”.
Adipurush will be a Hindi-Telugu bilingual film, dubbed in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada as well as several foreign languages. It will go on floors early next year and will hit the screens on August 11, 2022.