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“This objection is unfair. By this logic, are they saying a Dalit cannot play the role of a king in a film?” asks Jha.

With dalit groups saying the film is biased against the quota system, the government of Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest state, banned the film Wednesday. A day later, the governments of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh followed suit.

The ban could cost the film more than 150 million rupees ($3.5 million) in earnings, as filmgoers were expected to crowd theaters over the long weekend, trade analysts said.

A government panel for the welfare of lower castes also has asked the country’s film authorities to review the clearance given to the film.

“We have written to the Censor Board to review the film and remove at least five objectionable dialogues from the movie,” said P. L. Punia, who heads the panel. “These changes can be made without affecting the narrative of the film.”

Another objection raised by some lower caste groups is the casting of Khan, who belongs to one of the royal families that previously ruled parts of India, as the Dalit protagonist.

“This objection is unfair. By this logic, are they saying a Dalit cannot play the role of a king in a film?” asks Jha.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai film fraternity is closing ranks in support of the movie.

“There is nothing objectionable in the film. When people see it, they will realize that there is nothing controversial,” said Ajay Devgn, a leading Bollywood action star.