Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, starring Ajay Devgn has been declared ‘tax-free’ in Uttar Pradesh, a decision prompted by Devgn’s request to chief minister Yogi Adityanath in this regard. The film is based on the life of Maratha ruler Shivaji’s brave general Tanaji Malusare and was released on January 10 alongside Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak, that was based on the life of acid attack survivor.
Ajay also thanked Yogi Adityanath for the same. “Thank you Shri Yogi Adityanathji for making #TanhajiTheUnsungWarrior Tax-Free in Uttar Pradesh. I would also be delighted Sir if you watched our film @myogiadityanath #TanhajiUnitesIndia,” he wrote in a tweet.
A tax-free film brings down the cost of movie tickets significantly as the state waives off its entertainment tax. After Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll out, introduced to replace multiple indirect taxes levied by centre and state, state GST has replaced entertainment tax.
“So the viewer would benefit by getting tickets 28% cheaper,” a UP government official said.
Adityanath government’s gesture in declaring the film tax-free, could help it break it into the Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crore) club, may be much beyond, says Rashid Hasan, a member of Western India Film Producers’ Association. The film captures how in 1670 Shivaji’s general had fought valiantly, laying down his life to free the Shivgarh Fort from the Mughals.
Ajay Devgn’s wife, actor Kajol is essaying portrayal of Tanaji’s wife Savitribai in movie. The Samajwadi Party, which had booked an entire show of Padukone’s Chhapaak for its cadres in a show of solidarity with the movie and the issue (acid attack and how life is for its survivors) is now asking if the Adityanath government was engaging in politics in movies too.
“You see how Anurag Kashyap’s inspirational film Saand ki Aankh has been denied subsidy on technical grounds. Now, Deepika Padukone’s film Chhapaak which raises the important issue of acid attack survivors has not been declared tax-free despite the fact that several other states have already done that,” says Samajwadi Party spokesperson IP Singh.
“It was Akhilesh Yadav ji who during his stint as chief minister had taken steps to ensure that ban on acid sale, efforts to make acid attack survivors start life afresh so UP should have been the first to make Chhapaak tax free,” says Singh, a former BJP leader who gravitated to SP.
Deepika had visited JNU to express her solidarity with students who were protesting against the attack on the campus by unidentified masked men with many claiming the attackers were from ABVP, a pro-right wing student group but ABVP alleging hand of Left in it.
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Her visit had elicited diverse opinions with many trolling her and urging boycott of her movie while others solidly backing her move which, they claimed, were an expression of free and democratic society.
“I think some people want to see everything from political perspective. That’s their outlook. We can’t do anything about their warped minds. The film Tanaji has been declared taxfree simply because it raises the all important issue of a brave general who fought invaders. His bravery and selfless gesture in driving the intruders away and his act of supreme sacrifice would definitely inspire people. That’s why the Adityanathji’s government decided to make it tax free,” said Shalabh Mani Tripathi, advisor to the chief minister.
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