Song That Made Priya Prakash Varrier A Star Is In Trouble, Police Case Filed

The song that features Priya Prakash Varrier is in trouble for claiming to hurt religious sentiments

‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’, the song that features Priya Prakash Varrier, the young Malayalam actress who became an Internet sensation with her smile and a wink, has run into trouble. A group of young men in Hyderabad have filed a police case against the filmmakers claiming that the lyrics of the teaser song of the film ‘Oru Adaar Love’ had hurt religious sentiments of Muslims.

Priya Prakash Varrier had told Press24 that the director wanted to capture “something cute between me and my hero”. So she was told to gesture with her eyebrows and wink at him.

“That’s how it worked out. It was spontaneous and we hadn’t planned anything,” the commerce undergraduate at a college in Thrissur college, 300 km from the Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram.

In just a matter of days, the short clip made the 18-year-old a star before her first film was to reach cinema halls.

But it also angered some people.

Abdul Muqeet, an engineering student, is among them. Like millions of others, he too was listening to the song released last week. But the student told reporters that when he translated the song from Malayalam, he figured that it made an “objectionable” reference to Prophet Muhammad’s wife and complained to the police.

A case has been registered for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, Hyderabad police officer V Satyanarayana said, according to news agency Press Trust of India. The news agency said the police would consult Islamic clerics and legal experts before taking a call.

Businessman Zaheer Ali Khan who also rushed to the police with his complaint demanding that either the song be removed from the film or the lyrics be changed.

The young actress declined to comment on the row over the song. “‘I don’t know much about it, I think I’d rather keep shut about it,” Priya Prakash Varrier said, according to news agency ANI.

Director Omar Lulu, however, stressed that Muslims in northern Kerala had been singing the same song for over four decades and it was quite impossible that it hurt anyone’s sentiments.

“The song written by CMA Jabbar is sung during marriages and every celebration in Malabar region of North Kerala. Malabar Muslims have been singing this song since 1978. If it was not objectionable then, how has it become objectionable now?” Mr Lulu said, rejecting demands to spike the song.

The filmmakers have received support from many women activists.

Activist Shamina Shafiq called the complaint that the song had hurt sentiments “rubbish”, wondering the song had offended Muslim groups which never takes a similar initiative when women face all kinds of serious crimes. “At that time they never condemn such incidents or file any kind of FIR,” she said. Annie Raja said there were more important issues for the community to flag such as education of young girls.

But a few, such as Heena Zahir in Kanpur appeared to find nothing wrong, arguing that if there could be protests against ‘Padmaavat’, why couldn’t someone complain about this song.

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