Row over morphed ‘Tanhaji’ video likening PM Modi to Shivaji

Team Udayavani, Jan 21, 2020, 5:41 PM IST

Mumbai: A morphed video clip has surfaced on social media about a sequence from Bollywood film ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’, showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Chhatrapati Shivaji and Union Minister Amit Shah as Tanhaji.

Maharashtra Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh has condemned the video and said the government will raise the issue with the video-sharing platform YouTube.

The clip, first posted on Twitter handle ‘Political Kida’, also shows Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as villainous Udaybhan Singh Rathod (a Mughal fort keeper).

The Delhi Assembly polls are scheduled next month.

Condemning the clip, which has surfaced amid the controversy over a book comparing Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji, Maharashtra Home Minister Deshmukh said he has received complaints about the video and the government will raise the issue with YouTube.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters his party will not tolerate such an “insult” of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

He also asked why those who protested against his comment, asking BJP leader Udayanraje Bhosale to “prove” he is descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, were now silent over the clip.

The BJP distanced itself from the video clip, saying it was nowhere related to the party and that it will never back comparison of anyone with Chhatrapati Shivaji.

In the film, released on January 10, actors Sharad Kelkar, Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan have played the roles of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Tanhaji Malusare (a lieutenant of the Maratha warrior king) and Rathod, respectively.

“I condemn the BJP for stooping so low to seek political mileage. It is wrong to use venerable Shivaji Maharaj, Tanhaji (for political gains),” Deshmukh said.

“We will raise the issue with YouTube,” he added.

Raut said his party will not tolerate insult of their “deity” Shivaji Maharaj.

Without naming Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide and former Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale’s supporters who called for Sangli and Satara shut down over his remark last week, Raut said he has sent the clip to “all these people” and is waiting for their reaction on it.

“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is our deity. We will not tolerate his insult. If somebody does it and questions us for no reason, why are they silent now?” Raut asked.

BJP leader Ram Kadam sought to distance his party from the morphed video clip.

“The BJP is nowhere related to the clip posted on some Twitter account ‘Political Kida’. It is not an official video of the BJP. It is nowhere used in campaign. The BJP will never defend comparison of anyone with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” he said.

Kadam, however, accused Raut of raising the issue to escape from answering questions pertaining to senior Congress leader and former state chief minister Ashok Chavan.

A video of Chavan purportedly saying that his party joined the Shiv Sena-led government on the “insistence” of “Muslim community” to stop the BJP from returning to power has gone viral on social media.

Chavan told PTI on Tuesday that he didn’t specifically mention Muslims in his speech.

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