MNS fear; Bhojpuri film industry may shift out of Mumbai


New Delhi : Raj Thackeray’s tirade against north Indians could end up hurting Maharashtrians working in the over Rs 200-crore Bhojpuri film industry as it considers moving out of Mumbai owing to increasing insecurity.

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With an average output of 75 movies per annum and an over 250 million target audience, the Bhojpuri film industry employs hundreds of unskilled and semi-skilled people from the state in various stage of production and distribution. (One crore: ten million)

The industry, which has around 50 registered production houses in Mumbai, has initiated talks with some state governments like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for its set up.

“We have given a proposal to the Uttar Pradesh government through its Culture Minister Subhash Pandey for setting up the industry in Lucknow. Besides, we are also counting on some other options like Delhi, Noida and Patna,” Bhojpuri superstar and producer Manoj Tiwari told PTI.

The actor was of the opinion that shifting the industry to Uttar Pradesh or Bihar would also lead to employment for speakers of the language.

Tiwari said that despite employing a large number of Maharashtrians, the Bhojpuri film industry was still being targeted for “our connection with north India, even though Bhojpuri films have their audiences across the country.”

“We are living under the shadow of fear in Mumbai. MNS goons even target us during outdoor shootings. We are not secure here,” he said.

The actor said he had to stop shooting for one of his movies featuring Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff at Satara when some suspected MNS activists attacked the unit.

The shooting was later completed in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.