No spoilers about the movie, by the way. Can't say the same about the Shiv Sena, though.
An insidious plan by the Shiv Sena to send Sainiks into cinema halls disguised as movie goers to disrupt the release of My Name is Khan was foiled, as Sainiks, after watching the emotional tearjerker, were so overwhelmed by emotion that they were unable to carry out orders. The movie’s release in Mumbai was, for the most part, trouble free.
Sunil Joshi, a veteran Sainik, says that the plan of their group to jump out of their seats in the middle of the movie was abandoned mid-way as they were apprehensive that their red, puffy eyes—a result of the emotional maelstrom that the movie about religious stereotyping caused—would make them look like sissies. “Which, of course, is not true at all,” a fellow Sainik of Sunil hastened to add. “It’s just that we are ideal Marathi Manooses—hard on the outside and soft on the inside, you know...that’s all. But you never know as to what the TV channels would make of those images.”
Some other groups of Sainiks failed to act because the movie forced them to change their minds about the morality of their actions in the first place. In fact, quite a few refused to vandalise the theatre they were in after they learnt that Shah Rukh Khan played a character who suffers from Asperger Syndrome. As a Sainik, who did wish to be named, put it: “Accepting Balasaheb as my leader has inculcated in me a new found respect for people who are mentally challenged. I could never do this after watching Shah Rukh play Rizvan.”
Surprisingly, a few Sainiks, after the entry of Sonya Jehan in the movie, even went so far as to challeng the Sena’s stand of hating everything Pakistani, preferring to make a distinction between politics on the one side and things like cricket and actresses on the other.
Of course, most Maharashtrians in Mumbai paid little heed to the Sena’s message, even in some instance openly defying it. Unconfirmed reports say that Paresh Mokashi is even working on a film titled, My name is Kulkarni and I am not a Sainik.
In related news, the beleaguered Bal Thakeray, already smarting from the MNIK fiasco, was further brought under the scanner by India’s premier investigative news agency, India TV, in a report which, keeping up to their impeccable journalistic standards, exposes the truth as only they can: