'Fire,' 'Godmother' stray from Indian female image

BOMBAY — New movies about unconventional Indian women are facing flak not from censors but from axe-wielding politicos.

Deepa Mehta’s “Fire” was stalled indefinitely by Bombay’s Shiv Sena activists who attacked the theaters showing the film. It was finally released in Maharashtra state, Sena’s stronghold, but only with several cuts.

Another eagerly awaited film, Vinay Shukla’s debut “The Godmother,” starring “Fire’s” Shabana Azmi, is also snarled in a court case.

“The Godmother” tells the story of a peasant wife who became the local don and elected leader after her husband was gunned down in gang warfare.

Real-life mafia queen Santokben Jadeja of Porbander (Gandhi’s birthplace) has slapped a lawsuit against the film saying it’s based on her life while distorting her character and community.

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