Sanjay Leela Bhansali has clarified that his forthcoming film "Ram Leela" is inspired by and based on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and that it has nothing to do with either Indian folklore "Ram Leela" or Lord Krishna's 'Rasleela'.
Bhansali, who has produced and directed the film, Wednesday sought to set the record straight about the film's content in the wake of a Delhi court staying its scheduled Nov 15 release on a plea that the movie hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus as it contains sex, violence and vulgarity.
"It appears that some misinformation is being carried out regarding the said film ('Ram Leela') which we would like to clarify and state that the said film is inspired and based on William Shakespeare's work 'Romeo and Juliet'.
"The said film is neither related to 'Ram Leela' folklore/traditional performance associated with Lord Ram nor related to 'Ram Leela' associated with Lord Krishna. Ram, the character in the said film does not depict or resemble Lord Rama in any manner," read a statement issued on behalf of Bhansali.
The order followed a suit filed by six petitioners who believe the movie hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus as it contains sex, violence and vulgarity.
The plea also said the word "Ram Leela" is associated with Lord Rama and people will also watch the movie with an expectation that it would be related to his life, but the film will hurt their sentiments.
The petitioners demanded that the film's title be changed.
According to Bhansali, the film "neither intends nor attempts to insult, wound or outrage the religion, religious feelings or religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India".
"We trust that this allays, clarifies and sets at rest all apprehensions, doubts and misgivings regarding the said film," the statement further read.