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The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today said it will not allow screening of Salman Khan Films' upcoming movie Loveratri as its name distorts the meaning of a Hindu festival. "We will not allow its exhibition in cinema halls in the country. We don't want the sentiments of Hindus to be hurt," VHP's international working president Alok Kumar said.
Speaking to reporters here, Kumar said, "The film is set against the backdrop of Navratri, a Hindu festival, and the name distorts its meaning."
Navratri is a nine-night festival for worship of nine avatars of Goddess Durga. The festival is marked with revelry across various parts of the country and is particularly famous in Gujarat.
Loveratri, which is said to have a backdrop of Gujarat, is slated to be released on October 5 this year, around the same time when Navaratri would be celebrated.
A number of movies in the past have faced opposition from VHP and other organisations over one or the other issue and some of them had to go for a new name, besides other changes. Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati had to change its name to Padmaavat.
Superstar Salman Khan is launching his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma in his home production "Loveratri".
The 52-year-old star took to Twitter in December last year to make the announcement of the project, which will be the fifth film under his banner, Salman Khan Films.
The movie is being helmed by debutant director Abhiraj Minawala, who has served as assistant director on films such as Salman's "Sultan" and Shah Rukh Khan's "Fan".
The film will have another debutant Warina opposite Aayush, who is is married to Salman's sister Arpita Khan.
Speaking to reporters during his maiden visit to the city after being elected as VHP's international working president last month, Kumar said the VHP has been working on several issues since 1964, such as social harmony, establishing family values, Ram temple and all of them continue to be relevant.
"Priorities might have changed. Right now, our priority is to work towards social harmony. We are pained how the situation is being exploited by certain groups," he said.
Kumar said VHP is a separate body and not affiliated to the BJP or any other political party.
"But we are wedded to the idea of welfare for all communities irrespective of their caste and creed," he added.
Kumar, who took over from Pravin Togadia, also said the exit of his predecessor will not affect the organisation.