There is little doubt that the Shiv Sena had to compromise on its ideology in order to make Uddhav Thackeray the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. As the NCP and the INC continue to rule the roost in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, as if working on an Internet Explorer, the Thackeray led Maharashtra government finally made ‘Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior’ tax-free in the state.
The Box Office clash between Chhapaak and Tanhaji snowballed into a huge controversy as Deepika Padukone in an ill-advised PR strategy visited the JNU students to stand in ‘solidarity’ with them. Whereas Ajay Devgn refused to fall into the JNU propaganda and marketed his movie on nationalistic ideals. The Congress gleefully jumped into the controversy as most of the Congress-ruled states declared Chhapaak as tax-free.
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior has Ajay Devgn play the titular role of Tanaji Malusare, a Maratha warrior in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Kajol, as Savitribai Malusare, is Tanaji’s on-screen wife. It was only natural that the Shiv Sena declare the move as tax-free in Maharashtra keeping in mind their ‘Marathi Manoos first’ ideology. At a time when the Shiv Sena is serving the whims and the fancies of 10 Janpath; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh had already declared Tanhaji as tax-free.
As if working on an Internet Explorer, Tanhaji after 13 days of its release, has finally been deemed tax-free in Maharashtra.
The film on Maratha pride has already become a blockbuster without the celebration and patronage of the Sena. It was most expected from Maharashtra especially under the Shiv Sena to celebrate this film, but it spinelessly succumbed to political pressure. Maharashtra is seeing collections that have never been seen except in the case of Bahubali – The Conclusion. A city like Nasik is already at 2.50 crore. It’s the same story in Sholapur, Kohlapur, Aurangabad, Latur, etc. Pune collection s expected to reach 20 crore nett in a couple of days and that is from just 40 odd cinemas. The collections in just Pune alone will be more than the all India collections of the competitor Chhapaak over the second weekend. Not only that, at this rate, the lifetime figures for Tanhaji in Pune could be more than the Chhapaak all India lifetime numbers.
It seems that the mind-boggling numbers became too big for the Shiv Sena to ignore who was hoping that the issue would be swept under the carpet. Now with its move to declare Tanhaji tax-free after 13 days of its release in an attempt by the party to save face. It is clear that the Shiv Sena does not own the Maratha legacy anymore.