Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior has taken the Box Office by storm. In mere three days, the film has gathered over 61 crore rupees at the Box Office. Directed by Om Raut, ‘Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior’ is a biopic on the trusted general of Maratha braveheart and Emperor of the Maratha Empire, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who changed the face of Indian history as he reclaimed the Kondhana fort after a fierce battle with the Mughals, led by the guardian of the fort Uday Bhan Rathod. The movie stars Ajay Devgn in the titular role, while Saif Ali Khan plays the role of the antagonist-Uday Bhan Rathod. The two are supported by Kajol, Sharad Kelkar, Luke Kenny, Padmavati Rao, Shashank Shende, Devdatta Nage and Neha Sharma among others.
A film which perhaps best epitomizes Maratha pride and valour, incidentally, is being charged taxes in the state of Maharashtra. If you think it couldn’t get any more ironic, the fact is that the Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena government is refusing to make the film tax-free in their state.
Uddhav Thackeray has had a clear departure from the ideology of Hindutva, which the Shiv Sena for so long claimed to live by. It now seems that under the leadership of Uddhav, Sena is also abandoning its long-held ‘Maratha Pride’ card.
The Congress, on the other hand, demanded that the film be made tax-free in the state, with the General Secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Sachin Sawant writing to the Revenue Minister, Balasaheb Thorat.
तान्हाजी’ मराठा साम्राज्याच्या इतिहासातील सोनेरी पान असलेल्या शूरवीर, कर्तबगार, लढवय्या व स्वतःच्या प्राणाची बाजी लावणारे तानाजी मालुसरे यांच्या शौर्यगाथेवर आधारीत चित्रपट आहे. हा चित्रपट करमुक्त करण्याचा निर्णय घ्यावा ही विनंती. @OfficeofUT ji , @bb_thorat ji @AjitPawarSpeaks ji pic.twitter.com/JIgQfpXcLo
— Sachin Sawant (@sachin_inc) January 12, 2020
While the Shiv Sena led government in the state should have had the minimum decency of making Tanhaji tax-free in the state, even after three days of its release, Uddhav seems to be adamant on portraying himself as a ‘secular’ species to his new political masters. Playing with Maratha sentiments was the last deed we expected from Uddhav, however, it seems he is very keen to immediately indulge in the same.
Contrary to Uddhav’s secularism, three Congress-ruled states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have declared Deepika Padukone starrer Chhapaak to be tax-free. This, after Deepika Padukone, was seen sharing the stage with the Leftists at JNU who were protesting against violence initiated by them, themselves.
The Madhya Pradesh BJP also demanded that the Kamal Nath government make Tanhaji tax-free as well. They also wrote to Uddhav Thackeray to do the same in Maharashtra. “Tanhaji should be tax-free. The movie is about defending one’s country from foreign invaders. It is based on the illustrious life of Tanhaji Malusare, an army leader and friend of Hindu King Chhatrapati Shivaji,” BJP MLA from Huzur Rameshwar Sharma told PTI.
It is yet to be seen whether Uddhav Thackeray has some sense knocked into him, such that he declares Tanhaji to be tax-free in Maharashtra.
If Maharashtra will not extend such a courtesy to a film which takes Maratha Pride and showcases it across the country, how can any other state be expected to do so?