Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first OTT production Heeramandi is being marketed as his interpretation of the courtesans of Lahore’s Red Light District.
The Netflix series stars Manisha Koirala, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sharmin Segal, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Shaikh and Sonakshi Sinha.
Following the release of Heeramandi‘s Poster, Bhansali impressed some with his recollection of South Asian folklore, mythology and history while dressing his courtesans in stunning costumes and draping them in jewellery.
However, some Twitter users questioned whether India has the right to relay the narrative of Lahore’s Red Light District.
One person wrote: “Indian producers use Pakistani stories that Pakistanis themselves should have told the world. Sigh.”
Another said: “Why Heera Mandi why not Chowk, Lucknow instead was known for its courtesan culture?
“This increasing obsession with Pakistan is hazardous to health.
“Also, none of these women can pass off as being from Lahore. They need to be fed.”
On the other hand, some users took an optimistic perspective on the new series.
A user wrote: “One good thing about Netflix’s Heeramandi is that the series will thankfully normalise the use of the word Heeramandi which is otherwise used as a slur in Pakistan.”