Akshay Kumar’s ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ has proved to be a disaster at the box office. The film has earned around Rs 69 crore in 20 days. Made in a budget of Rs 200 crore, this film neither earned money nor did people appreciate the film. On the contrary, the demand for boycott of this film arose. Akshay Kumar was trolled badly on social media. There was also controversy over Akshay Kumar’s statement, in which he had said that not much has been written about Prithviraj Chauhan in the country’s school history books, while there is a description of foreign kings who invaded India.
The director of the film, Chandraprakash Dwivedi had said in the past that he does not understand why the film was rejected outright by the audience. But now he has said in an interview that people are angry with Akshay Kumar. Whether it is because of the pan masala advertisement or because of the question being raised about offering milk on Shivling, and it is quite possible that this is the reason why people demanded boycott of his film and ‘Prithviraj Prithviraj’ got so bad.
In a conversation with ‘Film Companion’, Chandraprakash Dwivedi said that there were many misconceptions in the minds of people regarding his film. He says, “People thought that our film is historical, but Prithviraj Raso is based on poetry. Now this poem remains in discussion about the facts in itself. People demanded Boycott of the film, because our lead actor has given such statements earlier, which people did not like. It’s not that you don’t have the right to like or dislike an actor. Akshay Kumar is not the first actor whose performance has not been liked by the audience. But it is not right to boycott the entire film because the actor has said or done something in the past, which you did not like.”
‘We didn’t say ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ historical film’
Chandraprakash Dwivedi says, “Akshay Kumar has advertised Pan Masala. Or he said that offering milk on Shivling is a waste of milk. I don’t think his kind of work or statement should be associated with his film.” Chandraprakash Dwivedi also defended Akshay Kumar’s statement that Prithviraj Chauhan was given less space in books. He says, “When Akshay sir asked his son about Prithviraj Chauhan, Aarav replied that he didn’t know much. It was from here that desire arose in his mind and he started searching why we do not know about Hindu history. This is his thinking. This is not my opinion. Neither do the producers of my film think so. After his statement, people started feeling that Samrat Prithviraj is a historical film. Whereas he never said so.”
The director further adds, “Our film ends with the disclaimer that Prithviraj’s reign was followed by ‘foreign invaders’. Yes, I was worried about it while making the film. The surprising thing is that the film was opposed from all sides. Many people questioned why I did not show the atrocities committed by Mohammad Ghori or why I did not show the rape of Sanyogita, the killing of cows and Brahmins. I want to ask these viewers where did they read it. In Raso? None of these events is mentioned in the poem. There is a lot of wrong information on the internet.”