One of Bollywood’s leading Muslim stars has shelved plans to play a Hindu god after receiving a series of threats, reportedly from a religious group.
Controversial superstar Salman Khan – currently facing trial over a hit-and-run death – had been due to play the Hindu god Ram in the film Ramayan.
But since the project made the headlines, the actor – and producers GS Entertainment – say they have received threatening telephone calls.
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Hindu organisations in the city have categorically denied threatening actor Salman Khan for playing the role of Lord Ram in a Hindi film.
In a recent interview to a national daily, the actor said he had decided against playing the role in a film based on the Ramayana, following threats from Hindutva organisations.
“Why should we raise a stink on such a minor issue?” asked Shankar Gaikar, state convenor of the Bajrang Dal. “Salman is an actor and can play any character he chooses to. His religion has nothing to do with the kind of roles he enacts in his films,” he said.
Ramesh Mehta, Vishwa Hindu Parishad city chief, added: “We are broad-minded Hindus. We had no objection when Sanjay Khan, a Muslim actor, produced television serials on Hanuman and Mahabharata. We have no problems with this project too, as long as it does not distort history and hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.”