MUMBAI MIRROR (March 10, 2017)

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma who courted trouble for his unsavoury International Women’s Day tweets on former adult entertainer Sunny Leone apologised for them on Thursday at 7.40 pm. He was quick to say that “the apology is only to those who genuinely got offended and not to those who ranted for publicity and threatened to take the law into their hands”. He went on to say that he was just expressing his feelings “but I apologise to all who were offended due to my unintended insensitive tweets in context of women’s day.”

In a tweet on Wednesday RGV had posted, “I wish all the women in the world give men as much happiness as Sunny Leone gives.” He was trolled and as the row snowballed, he said, “The negative noise towards my tweet on Sunny Leone arises from ultimate hypocrisy. She has more honesty and more selfrespect than any women.”

Nationalist Congress Party leader, Jitendra Awhad lashed out, saying, “RGV apologise or face the consequences. We don’t mind taking the law in hand.” He responded saying that NCP President Sharad Pawar “should kick you out for threatening to take law in hands in our sovereign democratic country. You are a disgrace to his ideals.” Awhad warned that if RGV didn’t apologise, he’d lodge a police complaint.

On Wednesday, social activist Vishakha Mhabrey filed a police complaint in Goa, demanding his Twitter account be blocked and an offense be registered against him under the cyber laws and the Indian Penal Code for victimisation of women. The filmmaker retorted that he was filing a counter complaint against the activist who has just “212 followers which would be her family and friends”, for disrespecting Sunny’s 18 lakh followers.

The row escalated with NCP spokesperson Vidya Chavan warning that if he didn’t apologise, they’d launch a ‘Joote Maro Andolan” and beat him up with footwear. The Film Studio Setting & Allied Mazdoor Union, with over 50,000 members, starting a ‘boycott of RGV’ while Prateeksha Korgaonkar, state convenor of Ranaragini, the women’s wing of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti in Goa, filed a complaint with the Goa State Women’s Commission. Buzz was, the Sarkar 3 climax shoot in Mumbai’s Film City studio had come to a halt following violent protests. When Mirror reached out to RGV on this he said, “Not true, Sarkar shoot got over a month ago.”