NEW YORK - The filming of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow's project focusing on the hunt for Osama bin Laden is expected to be shifted to Jordan after a flurry of protests in India by Hindu radicals and Muslims -- each community for different reasons, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The movie was shooting in the Indian city of Chandigarh after Bigelow was denied permission to film in Pakistan. But the the work was disturbed at the weekend by a right-wing Hindu group, saying that it didn’t like the idea of filmmakers turning a part of the Punjab capital into a Pakistani town.
Last week, Oscar-winner Ms. Bigelow’s team began dressing up a Chandigarh market as Pakistan, including putting up Urdu signs and Pakistani flags. That was too much for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Journal said.
“We don’t want Pakistani flags on Indian soil and we don’t agree that Indian markets should look like Pakistan,” the head of the group’s Punjab chapter, Ramkrishna Srivastava, said. The organization’s members reportedly pushed the film crew and removed the signs they considered offensive.
"Not to be outdone, it seems some Muslim groups in India also don’t like the idea of the film shooting on Indian soil," the report said. Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, which also turned up in Chandigarh, complained the film portrays Muslims as terrorists.
Ms. Bigelow wanted to re-create Abbottabad where U.S. Navy SEALs killed bin Laden. "Now, it appears Ms. Bigelow has another reason not to film in India – the annoyance of dealing with petty protests," the Journal said.
"There is now chatter that Ms. Bigelow’s film will now switch the location of Abbottabad to somewhere outside of India. The latest rumour is in Jordan, where she shot her 2009 Oscar-winning 'The Hurt Locker'.”