One of the producers of Amitabh Bachchan’s recent release Jhund, Savita Raj Hiremath, has expressed her “perplexity” as to why her film was not made tax-free.
She stated that the film not only received a great response from the audience, but also dealt with a topic that is “crucial to our country’s growth.” Vivek Agnihotri’s recent film The Kashmir Files was recently rendered tax-free in numerous places throughout the country, prompting Savita’s remarks.
On Friday, Savita took to Facebook and wrote that while The Kashmir Files is an important film, Jhund was no less. “I recently watched Kashmir Files and as the story of Kashmiri Pandits exodus it’s heartbreaking and is a story that needed to be told. It is a good voice for Kashmiri Pandits! But as the producer of Jhund, I am perplexed. After all, Jhund is also an important film and has a story and a big message that has received tremendous acclaim and word of mouth from the audience,” she said.
Jhund, which released theatrically on March 4 to glowing reviews, featured Amitabh as Vijay Barse, a Nagpur-based retired sports teacher who pioneered a slum soccer movement. The movie marked the Hindi debut of filmmaker Nagraj Manjule, known for Marathi films Fandry and Sairat.
The Kashmir Files, based on the flight of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s, opened in theatres a week after Jhund. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and several officials of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have all complimented the film. In states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Tripura, and Goa, The Kashmir Files, starring Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi, was also proclaimed tax-free.
Savita added in her note that she was curious to know what is the criteria for the government to select a film and exempt it from entertainment tax. “So I want to find out what’s the criterion on which the government selects a film to support it so strongly by making it tax-free, endorsing it through social media and asking Offices to showcase the film or give a half-day holiday to its employees. After all, Jhund also has a subject that is so crucial to our country’s growth. Jhund is not just talking about the disparity between caste and economic disparity but also shows a way to make the lower strata of society find their success story,” she added.