Last year, theatre owners and exhibitors in Pakistan temporarily stopped screening Indian films after Pakistani artistes and technicians were banned by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) from in India.
However, earlier this year, Pakistan lifted the ban on Indian films and began screening them in the country. But superstar Aamir Khan’s ‘Dangal‘, the film that smashed all box-office records to become the highest-grossing Indian movie ever, will not make it to the neighbour’s screens.
Actor-Producer Aamir refuses to compromise with these scenes which are demanded to be cut by the Censor board there and which involve the Indian flag and anthem.
“Pakistan had been very keen on releasing the film and several distributors had been talking to us, but after their censor came back with a demand for two cuts, Aamir Khan decided to stall the release,” Khan’s spokesperson told TOI.
Mobashir Hasan, Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) head, told IANS over social media: “Yes, the board unanimously decided to skip two scenes.”
Asked why the Indian flag and anthem needed to be cut, Hasan said: “The decision is the collective wisdom of the board.”
He added that it was now up to the local distributor — Geo Films — to release it or not.
Dangal narrates the reallife journey of a Haryana villager Mahavir Phogat and his wrestler daughters Geeta and Babita. The two scenes that Pakistan’s censors asked to be removed appear at the very end of the film, when the story hits the climax and celebrates a winning moment. “Every sports movie honours the winner and his or her country. It’s only natural and in good spirit,” said Khan’s spokesperson.
Dangal has already minted Rs 385 crore. “If it released in Pakistan, Dangal would have probably made Rs 10 to 12 crore, which it won’t now and there will be piracy too but it was a stand that we had to take,” the spokesperson added.