Bollywood film setting causes stir

'Sid' refers to Mumbai as Bombay, upsets activists

What’s in a name?

Plenty, if you’re the makers of “Wake Up Sid.”

The Bollywood film from UTV Motion Pictures, described as a paean to Mumbai, should have been a point of pride for the city’s leaders — except for one vexing problem: It refers to the city by its old name of Bombay.

While most denizens of the Indian city still call it Bombay, activist Raj Thackeray was incensed that the pic didn’t use the newer moniker.

Fearing Thackeray would make good on his threats to sic his army of followers on the pic with protests, producer Karan Johar quickly apologized and added a disclaimer to the start of the pic noting that the city’s name is, indeed, Mumbai.

Johar’s apology infuriated the state’s chief minister Ashok Chavan, who said the police — regardless of whether they’re called Mumbai or Bombay cops — would be able to thwart any “army of thugs.”

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta planned a silent march to Thackeray’s home in the suburb of Shivaji Park on Oct. 10 and he’s set up a Facebook group and is urging Twitter followers to join the march.

Johar’s capitulation also set off wags, who wondered whether the city’s film industry should henceforth be called “Mollywood,” or if popular Hindi songs such as “Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan” (This is Bombay my love) or “Bombay sey aya mera dost” (My friend is visiting from Bombay) need to be edited to reflect the new name and sensitivities.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading