Makers of ‘Ganja Shankar’ told to change the film's title

Hyderabad, Feb 18 (IANS) The Telangana State Anti-Narcotic Bureau (TSNAB) has directed the makers of upcoming Telugu movie ‘Ganja Shankar’ to change its title by omitting Ganja (cannabis) from it.

With regard to the film’s title and the trailer uploaded on YouTube, TSNAB has told actor Sai Dharam Tej, producer and director of the film that if any objectionable scenes in connection with Ganja/narcotics and psychotropic substances are included, legal action will be initiated against them under NDPS Act.

TSNAB Director Sandeep Shandilya issued notices to actor Dharam Tej, who plays the main character in the movie, producer S. Nagavamshi and director Sampath Nandi.

TSNAB believes that the film’s title and the scenes included in the trailer seem to be glorifying drug consumption and sales, thus potentially violating NDPS Act.

“We believe that the movie ‘Ganja Shankar’ potentially inciting or abetting the crime of narcotics consumption, is inviting penal consequences to the movie makers,” reads the notice.

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The TSNAB Director asked the actor and makers to refrain from depicting any scenes where consumption, sale, peddling and supply of narcotic Ganja is glorified and shown as a heroic act, and to abstain from propagating such practices which have deleterious effects on the young generation,

Referring to the trailer, the notice mentions that the leafy vegetables business done by the protagonist is Ganja. Under Section 8 of NDPS Act, no person shall cultivate the opium poppy or any cannabis plant. It also refers to section 29 which provides for punishment for abatment and criminal conspiracy.

The Director mentioned that the government of Telangana is taking all steps to curb the menace of drugs, especially among the students and youth. “In your movie, depicting the protagonist as Ganja business man and glorifying his acts, and the title itself ‘Ganja Shankar’ will create a negative impact on the viewers, especially students and youth,” he said.

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