Cassian Baliarsingh

Amidst the ongoing controversy between Manoj Mishra and the Odia film industry, Koshal Sena has extended support to the actor and sought an apology from Ollywood actor and BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty for his remarks.

Expressing their disappointment, members of the Koshal Sena burnt the effigy of Anubhav at Bargarh Gandhi Square and threatened not to release any Odia film in Western Odisha.

“If the two-year ban on Manoj Mishra is not revoked, then entire Western Odisha will boycott Odia films and hit the streets,” informed Ramani Danta, a member of Koshal Sena.

On the other hand, the Koshal Sena also staged a protest in Bhawanipatna and demanded immediate lifting of the ban on Manoj Mishra. The agitators burnt posters of several Odia films and demanded Anubhav Mohanty to beg an apology for his comments.

Releasing a video, the ‘Something Something’ actor Anubhav Mohanty stated that Manoj was creating factionalism in the Odia film industry.

“I love the people, songs, dresses, and actors of Sambalpur. Though I belong to Cuttack, I have respect for the culture of Sambalpur. Please do not divide our industry with the narrow regional feeling,” Anubhav said in the video.

“I have also come to know that Manoj is trying to create factions among Arindam, Babushaan, and myself. It is deplorable. Such machinations will not only spell doom for your career but also pose problems for our film industry,” Anubhav added.

The whole controversy started after reports emerged that Manoj was allegedly instigating people to boycott Arindam’s latest release ‘Ram’ in Sambalpur due to his personal strife with actor Jitu Mangaraj.

On the other hand, Manoj Mishra has alleged that his life is under threat and accused producer Tutu Nayak of conspiring against him.

Meanwhile, theatre owners are worried that the ongoing controversy would affect the box office collections of movies and the film industry.

“The Odia film industry is already on the verge of collapse. We theatre owners are trying to promote Odia movies and ensure that our movies do well at the box office. If they start dividing between western and coastal Odisha, then no one can save the Odia film industry,” said theatre owner Pramod Khamari.

A day after Congress leader Narasingha Mishra extended his support to Manoj Mishra and said that entire Odisha would be divided into two parts if the ban on the actor was not revoked immediately, BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling also voiced his opinion and demanded immediately lifting the ban on the actor.

“No boundary or language barrier can stop an actor. They are here to entertain us all beyond boundaries and languages. So, I request them to come to an amicable solution immediately and revoke the ban on Manoj,” Mahaling said.

“Most importantly, actor Anubhav Mohanty who is affiliated to BJD is passing bizarre comments and politicizing the matter. He should learn from PM Modi who respects artists and several people from Odisha have won Padma Shri during his regime. If they don’t lift the ban immediately, then we will not allow the release of any Odia film in western Odisha,” he added.