Maharaj out on OTT: Gujarat HC lifts stay on Aamir Khan's son's debut, praises film’s core message

    The Gujurat High Court passed the order allowing Netflix to stream Maharaj, starring Junaid and Jaideep Ahlawat, after it found "nothing objectionable."

    First poster of Maharaj

    First poster of Maharaj

    Netflix on Friday started streaming its latest Hindi movie Maharaj soon after receiving a go-ahead from the Gujarat High Court. Last week, the High Court had issued a stay order against its release after the members of the Vaishnavite sect accused the film of portraying religious beliefs in a poor light.

    Justice Sangeeta K. Vishen, who was hearing the petition against Netflix, took the time to examine the movie. On Friday, she passed the order stating that the court "found nothing objectionable" in the movie.

    This decision comes as a big relief to Netflix and Junaid, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan's son, for whom the film marks his acting debut.

    The high court bench even praised the movie while alleviating the fears of the petitioners. "The core message of the film, as has been rightly contended by the respondents, focuses on the social evil and the fight against the same by social reformer Karsandas Mulji, who himself was from a Vaishnavite community," Justice Sangeeta K. Vishen said in her order, according to Live Law.

    Maharaj is inspired by an 18th-century incident that had a transformative effect on India's history. The film is based on the life of social reformer and journalist Karsandas Mulji, who fearlessly exposed the sexual exploitation by a religious leader.

    Maharaj follows Mulji's efforts to shed light on how a religious guru named Jadunathji Maharaj used his position and power to sexually exploit his women devotees. Mulji's expose is touted to be one of the watershed moments in India's history under British rule, making a strong case for vigilance on religious leaders in the country.

    While Junaid plays Mulji, Jaideep Ahlawat essays the role of the tainted religious leader Jadunathji Maharaj.