Bhopal, Jan 9 (IANS) Soon after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday declared the upcoming Deepika Padukone-starrer “Chhapaak” tax-free in the state even before its release on Friday, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has followed suit.
Like Nath, Baghel also made the announcement on Twitter and praised the film for its subject. The film is based on the life of the acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Kamal Nath tweeted: “Deepika Padukone’s film ‘Chhapak’ made on an acid attack survivor is releasing on January 10. I declare this film tax free in Madhya Pradesh. The film based on a woman’s’story of self-confidence, struggle, hope, and passion to live with that suffering, sends a positive message about acid-affected women in society. It is based on the message of bringing change in the thinking of the society.””
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel tweeted: “”he government has decided to exempt Hindi film “Chhapak” from tax in Chhattisgarh. The film depicts such heinous crimes like acid attack on women in society and raises awareness. People should watch it with families.”
The move, however, invited sharp reactions as well.
Leader of Opposition in MP, Gopal Bhargava said, “Her (Deepika’s) job is to dance and she should stick to it. If she has to play politics then she should take a plunge into it.”
A BJP spokesperson said, ” Kamal Nath ji is never tired of blaming Modi for not releasing money or Shivraj ji for his legacy of an empty treasury as an excuse for his inability to waive farmers’ debt in the state or checking of unemployment! However, the moment Deepika Padukone joined the traitors against Modi he decided to exempt all her films. Kamal Nath ji should let the people of Madhya Pradesh know whether bread for the farmer is more important or butter chicken and vodka for Deepika’s home?”
The film, helmed by Meghna Gulzar, is set to hit the screens on January 10.
“Meghna came to me with the script and I was instantly drawn to Meghna’s honesty, to Laxmi’s story and her journey. I felt like it was very very powerful and I felt like as an actor, I definitely wanted to be a part of the film. Even as a person, I felt like there’s a really strong narrative in Laxmi’s life, and I wanted the world to see that,” Deepika had told IANS earlier.
It was back in 2005 when Laxmi, then just 16, was attacked by a 32-year-old man who threw acid on her because she had turned down his proposal. She didn’t let the incident pull her down.
Laxmi went on to work as director of a non-profit Chhanv Foundation and also associated with campaign Stop Acid Attacks.
Deepika was left so impressed by Laxmi’s story, among other things, that she decided to be attached to the film as a producer too.
“We finished the narration and I said yes to the film. I said, ‘wait a second, should we produce this film as well?’ Meghna was open to the idea. She and I came on board as producers and then we went around to studios and had Fox (Fox Star Studios) join us,” she said.
The film’s narrative leans on Laxmi but Deepika says it’s not a biopic.
“It also throws light on acid violence in our country,” she said.