Social activist, Hemant Patil has accused megastar Amitabh Bachchan, saying that the star is promoting superstitious beliefs about ghosts and the spirits by portraying the role of a ‘Bhoothnath’ in a TV commercial for children. The activist further applied for a police complaint against Bachchan, with violations according to the existing laws, Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices, 2014 and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013.
Bachchan recently endorsed a Children’s health drink commercial, where he reprised his screen role of ‘Bhoothnath’ as in his film, where he played the friendly ghost. The sequel of the original film, ‘Bhoothnath Returns’, is to hit the screens soon and the commercial serves as one of the tools promotion for the film.
Talking about his angst, activist Patil told IANS, “The advertisement promotes belief in the existence of ghosts and spirits and consequently the need for magic to ward them off. This is promoting false beliefs and promoting superstition.”
The activist also pointed out that the commercial in question did not comply with adding appropriate disclaimer before or after the broadcast, making it a confirmed violation of the above laws. Some parts of cultures in the country are still known to practice such rituals and the laws have been strictly regulated and enforced to avoid any sort of practice, provocation or even the slightest promotion.
Meanwhile, Bachchan is yet to comment about this accusation hurled directly at him. The commercial house, campaigning the ‘Bhoothnath’ in the advertisement is also yet to make a statement to this effect.
Mumbai magistrate Sita Kulkarni has placed the matter for hearing 18th April.
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