MUMBAI — Culture of the Street Films suffered a culture shock when its “Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities” was pulled from theaters after Muslim clerics objected to song lyrics.
The All India Ulema Council objected to the lyrics of the song “Noorun-ala-noor” (Lighter Than Light), that though credited to the painter H.F. Husain were taken from the Koran, their holy book. Since these words describe the prophet Mohammad, their usage to “describe the heroine Meenaxi” (played by Tabu) is blasphemous, the clerics said.
Helmed by Husain and his son Owais, the less-than-$700,000 venture has had a three-week all India run in theaters, earning $149,000 in the first two weeks. The movie is being distribbed by Yashraj Films.
Owais Husain, also a painter, put a brave face on the turn of events. “We are actually quite happy with the reaction we have received so far. We didn’t expect some great B.O. collections. We are quite happy to withdraw it in the face of opposition. We don’t mean to upset anyone.”
This was H.F. Husain’s second venture. His first, “Gaja gamini” (2000), was well received on the festival circuit but collected just $16,500 at the box office.