Known for his squeaky clean, funny man image,
and letters informing him that his “body parts will be cut off” and he’ll be “burned alive” for a dialogue in his upcoming comedy, ‘The Legend of Michael Mishra.’
An FIR was filed against the cast and crew and sent by the complainant to the makers of the film. The letter written in Hindi translates as: My name is Ravindra Singh Valmiki, I am a resident of Mehrauli. This afternoon, at 3:30 pm, I saw the trailer of Arshad Warsi’s film ‘Michael Mishra’ in which there’s the dialogue, “Daaku Valmiki se Sant Valmiki ban jayenge,” which has hurt the religious sentiments of the Valmiki Samaj. The film is releasing on August 5 and Valmiki Samaj will boycott it. I have filed an FIR against Arshad Warsi, the film’s writer-director, Manish Jha and producers, Kishor Arora and Shareen Mantri Kedia of Eyecandy Films, demanding their arrest, they should be tried under IPC 295. The Valmiki Samaj requests you to halt the release of the film.”Speaking to Mirror, Arshad admitted that the controversy is upsetting because those who are protesting don’t even know their facts. “Everyone knows the story of Valmiki, the writers researched their facts too. If I had thought that dialogue or anything else was offensive, I would not have done it. I’ve stayed away from X-rated content all through my career,” he argues.
The last time the actor received a threat was when he was filming Kabir Khan’s ‘Kabul Express’. The Taliban had told the director, his co-star John Abraham and him that they would kill them if they made the film. Since then he has consciously not been a part of films that could ruffle feathers.”Today, everyone is so careful because India is packed with religious sentiments and there are so many reference groups to raise objections to anything. But this film has been cleared by the Censor Board which wanted two scenes edited from the film. For a smooth release, we will send an apology note to the Samaj in Delhi since I love the Capital and would like to visit it again,” he asserts.He insists controversies should not be used as a marketing tool. “Only the promos and story work for the film. If controversies benefited a film, ‘Udta Punjab’ would have been a blockbuster. Only Rajinikanth sells, and of course, Salman Khan,” he signs off with a laugh.