Nearly 100 activists of the student's wing of the Shiv Sena group smashed window panes, ripped up posters and burned effigies at a hall screening the Hindi film "Girlfriend" in Bombay, capital of India's prolific movie industry, witnesses said.
The film show was stopped after the attack.
"The film has some lesbian scenes and we got many complaints from the public, especially women, so we decided to take action," Nitin Amberkar, a member of Shiv Sena's student wing, said in Bombay, minutes before tearing up posters of the film.
Arun Pathak, the Varanasi unit chief of the hard-line Hindu group, said, "This film is out to degrade Indian culture. We will not allow anyone to do this."
The director of "Girlfriend" said his film did not violate Indian culture but merely reflected a slice of society that has long been brushed under the carpet.
"If my film doesn't not offend any religious or spiritual sentiments, then why the breakage?" Karan Razdan told Zee News television. "I'm just trying to show what's happening in society."
The box office response to the film, which opened on Friday, has been poor."