Raavan director Mani Ratnam, composer A R Rahman, actors Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan and Vikram stayed away from the award function, not wanting to affect the release of the film. But Govinda, who plays an important role in this Ratnam flick, landed up in Sri Lanka. And now the Tamil protestors are up in arms about letting the film release in their domain.
Did it for Sallu
Sallu has played Chi Chi's saviour many times and has bailed him out whenever needed. So when Khan called him to add to the star presence at the international award show, he flew to Colombo without a moment's hesitation. Reveals a source, "Not only did Govinda go when he wasn't supposed to, but chose not to remain low-key. He performed to an impromptu dance performance with Salman and Anil Kapoor at the grand finale."
Now it is learnt that the entire cast and crew of Raavan are upset with Govinda for abandoning their cause and flying off to Sri Lanka. One wonders if the team's ire is the reason why the actor who plays a character inspired by 'Hanuman' was missing from the promotional event of the film, when all other actors were present.
Initially, Raavan was to have an international premiere at the awards event but when the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce threatened actors and filmmakers with a boycott, Mani and his team backed out from the event. Naturally, everyone is irritated with Chi Chi as the Tamil film federation now wants to ban Raavan because of Govinda's Colombo trip. The trip has angered Tamil activists back home. The only way to pacify them is to keep Govinda out of any future publicity connected to Raavan. This is the team's way of expressing their displeasure towards the comic actor for jeopardising the prospects of the film.
The source further informs that Govinda went to Colombo to also snub Mani Ratnam in an indirect way. "Govinda has a cameo in Raavan and he doesn't seem very pleased with the way his role shaped up. The film had become too long and all the characters' dialogues and scenes had to be edited. But Govinda feels that his role has been edited the most and going to Colombo was his way of expressing displeasure that he just doesn't care."
However, Govinda says, "Initially, I had refused to go to Colombo for the show but when Salman himself called me and asked me to go I went. Mera farz banta hai. Almost the entire industry was there and it was a professional choice to be there for all of us. I left politics a long time back and no longer am a part of film industry politics. I went as a friend. It was not my intention to hurt anybody's feelings. Nobody from the Raavan team asked me not to go or fired me for going."
When asked why he was missing from the promotional events he said, "I have not been invited for any event. Two days before the music release, an assistant called me up when I was in Kolkata and asked me to come. I was already in Kolkata for a puja at Tarapith so how could I have gone? No big person called to invite me. However, Mani sir has called me for the trial tonight and I shall go for that."
The Other Side
The spokesperson for Raavan says, "We had asked Govinda to come to each and every event but he said he was busy. The event held on Sunday was on Beera (Abhishek Bachchan) and his gang, including his brothers (Ravi Kissen and Ajay Gehi). Govinda is not connected with Beera's gang. He and the rest of the characters including Ram (Vikram) and Lakshman (Nikhil Dwivedi) will be promoted at other events."