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|April 12, 2001||
Umesh Jadhav, joint secretary of the Aurangabad travel guides welfare association (ATGWA), told a media conference that Shah Rukh Khan's dialogues, in that film, could seriously affect tourism in the region.
In the film, when a child suggests a trip to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, Shah Rukh dismissively says, 'Ajanta aur Ellora bekar hai, wahan sirf tooti phooti building hain aur poora khandar hain'.
ATGWA members, up in arms over what they see as a slur on a prime tourist attraction, said that the dialogues were "an attack on our legacy, our bread and butter, and our national pride."
''This attitude stinks of the Taliban culture'' the association members said.
The ATGWA members have warned that if, within eight days, the offensive dialogues are not deleted from the film, they will file a petition in the High Court. Letters of protest have meanwhile been handed over to the Divisional Commissioner, Collector, Commissioner of Police, Department of Tourism and MTDC.
The association members complained, in passing, that there was no proper security at the site and therefore there was the risk that persons harbouring destructive tendencies, exacerbated by Shah Rukh's words, could damage the sites.
The ATGWA members also criticised the official brochure of the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) for incorrectly stating that the caves are closed to the public on national holidays. This has meant that tourists who would otherwise have taken advantage of the holidays to visit the caves have tended to stay away, they pointed out.
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