"I don't know why he went to Raj Thackeray. He should have come to us," said Chavan on Friday evening.
Karan Johar had formally apologised to Thackeray for using 'Bombay' instead of 'Mumbai' in his new film Wake up Sid, which released on Friday. "Ye Mumbai shehar hai, aur Mumbai hi rahega (This is and always will be Mumbai)," said Johar .
Workers of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) stopped the screening of the film at two theatres in Mumbai on Friday morning. They said this was their way of objecting to the film using the incorrect name of their city.
Johar, who is the producer of Wake Up Sid, then visited Thackeray at his residence to apologise for what the film producer describes as "a mistake". A disclaimer will be carried before the film explaining the issue. Johar says he promised Thackeray that in all future movies, he will be careful to avoid such a mistake.
With this controversy, some say Raj Thackeray has scored bang in the middle of election season. He has stolen a march on his cousin Uddhav Thackeray, who positions himself as a crusader for Marathi Manoos and Mumbai.
Wake Up Sid stars Ranbir Kapur and Konkana Sen Sharma. Kapur's character, Sid, is a slacker who lives off his father and spends his nights at parties followed by sleep-ins. His life changes when he meets Aeysha, played by Sharma. Aeysha has moved from Kolkata to Mumbai to carve a new life for herself. She helps Sid grow up.
This isn't the first time that Bollywood has been bullied into walking Raj Thackeray's line. Amitabh Bachchan was forced to issue a public apology last year when Raj Thackeray threatened to stop his film, The Last Lear, from being screened. Thackeray said he was retaliating against Jaya Bachchan, who said at a public ceremony that she would speak in Hindi because she is from Uttar Pradesh. Thackeray claimed this was an insult to Mumbai's Marathi-speaking population.
Director Mani Ratnam similarly had to win sanction from Raj's uncle, Bal Thackeray, when he named his film Bombay. Bal Thackeray's blessings were also sought by Ramgopal Verma before the release of his Sarkar.