Sai Dharam Tej's film Gaanja Shankar into legal trouble; Anti Narcotics Bureau demands change in film’s title

Sai Dharam Tej starrer Gaanja Shankar, to be directed by Sampath Nandi, has landed into legal trouble. The Anti Narcotics Bureau has issued a legal notice to the makers. Read details!

Updated on Feb 18, 2024  |  07:10 PM IST |  49.6K
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Anti Narcotics Bureau issues notice to Sai Dharam Tej’s Gaanja Shankar makers over title ( Instagram )

Trigger Warning: This article contains references to drugs 

Sai Dharam Tej's upcoming action-drama is titled Gaanja Shankar. The title of the film was announced by the production company Sithara Entertainment a few days ago and now, the makers have landed into legal trouble. The Telangana State Anti Narcotics Bureau has sent a legal notice to the filmmakers to eliminate scenes that depict drug usage in a glamorous light.

Sandeep Shandilya, director of the Telangana State Anti-Narcotic Bureau, highlighted the need to comply with laws prohibiting the promotion of drug use in the title of the film. He expressed concerns about the movie's trailer, suggesting that the protagonist, engaged in a leafy vegetable business, might be associated with Ganja cultivation.

According to a report in The Hindu, Shandilya highlighted the title and content, stating, "By watching the trailer, it seems that the main character is a wanderer involved in the leafy vegetable business. The visuals of Ganja plants suggest a connection between the protagonist's leafy vegetable business and Ganja.”

The notice refers to different parts of the law that forbid drugs. It states, "Section 8 - prohibition of certain operations. Nobody should grow coca plants or collect any part of the coca plant; or cultivate opium poppy or any cannabis plant or make, own, sell, buy, transport, store, or use any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.”

The notice also mentions, "You are aware that movies have become more lifelike than even theater or other artistic forms. Their impact, especially on children and young teenagers, is significant. It is universally acknowledged that movies should be handled differently from other art forms because they immediately capture the attention of sight and hearing.”

Mr. Shandilya, in the notice, expressed his expectation that the filmmakers avoid showing any scenes in the movie Ganja Shankar where the use, sale, trading, and distribution of Narcotic Ganja are portrayed as heroic. He urged them to refrain from including such scenes, emphasizing the negative impact on the younger generation.

Additionally, the filmmakers were instructed to change the title of Gaanja Shankar by removing the first word. The notice warned of legal consequences under the NDPS Act 1985 if objectionable scenes related to Ganja, narcotics, or psychotropic substances persisted in the movie.

The notices were sent to lead actor Sai Dharam Tej, S. Nagavamshi, Producer, and Sampath Nandi, Director while copies were marked to the Presidents of the Telugu Film Producers Council (TFPC), Telugu Film Directors Association (TFDA) and the Movie Artist Association.

More About Ganja Shankar

Following his collaboration with Pawan Kalyan in Bro, Sai Dharam Tej, is gearing up for an intriguing film directed by Sampath Nandi. After a two-year hiatus, Sampath Nandi is making a return to direction. 

This upcoming film titled Gaanja Shankar is said to be a smuggling drama infused with commercial elements. A sneak peek released a few days ago offers a glimpse of Sai Dharam Tej portraying a powerful character as a cannabis smuggler.


The teaser provides a glimpse into the film's setting, with the background score adding intensity. Suryadevara Naga Vamsi, in collaboration with Sai Soujanya, is producing the project under the banners of Sithara Entertainment and Fortune Four Cinemas. The music for the film will be composed by Bheems Ceciroleo.

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: If you know someone who is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, please reach out to the authorities and report it. There are several helplines available for the same. 

ALSO READ:  Pawan Kalyan starrer Hari Hara Veera Mallu makers drop a massive update: ‘Our film will push the boundaries….’

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About The Author

As someone who breathes cinema in and out, Tanmayi writes about movies across the South. She's also

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Credits: The Hindu
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