Shiv Sena never objected to my participation in Ram Leela: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Updated:4 weeks, 1 day ago IST

Mumbai, Jan 20 (ANI): ‘Thackeray’ Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who starred in Netflix’s ‘Sacred Games’, is playing the role of one of India’s most polarising politicians and leader of the right-wing Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray. Siddique addressed the earlier issue between him and Shiv Sena after the latter protested against the formers participation in a Ram Leela in Uttar Pradesh. Dismissing Shiv Sena’s role in the protests against his role, Siddiqui said, “Who said Shiv Sena was a part of it? It was a hype created by the media. It was a decision of the organizers and I to not participate due to overcrowding.” He further added, “Even my father did not retaliate when I used to come home around 3 am as a child after watching Ram Leela. He knew that it was inspirational and motivating.” Apart from Siddiqui, the film also features actress Amrita Rao, who is playing the role of Bal’s wife, Meena Thackeray. Dancers danced to the tunes of the traditional Marathi ‘Lavani’ and mesmerized the audience. ‘Thackeray’ shows the rise of Shiv Sena and the man behind it, Bal Thackeray. The film will also show how Bal became one of the most influential and strong politicians in Indian politics. A religious zealot whose grip over Mumbai often resembled that of a mob boss, Thackeray was president and founder of the hardline Shiv Sena (Shiva’s Army), built around his fiery rhetoric on religion, immigration and communalism. A hero of Mumbai’s Hindu working class, he was heralded as a staunch defender of regional heritage by his supporters and despised as a hot-headed bigot by others. He devoted his public life to championing the rights of Mumbai’s “sons of the soil”. He died of cardio-respiratory arrest in 2012. He was 86. The film is directed by Abhijit Panse and is slated to be released on January 25 in two languages- Hindi and regional Marathi.

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