The Federal Censor Board of Pakistan has banned Anubhav Sinha’s courtroom drama, Mulk, set to hit the screens on August 3. While the ban on Bollywood releases in Pakistan is currently the trending topic, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred.
In the recent past, the Kareena Kappor and Sonam Kapoor-starrer, Veere Di Wedding was banned since the cCensor Board deemed the film vulgar and obscene. Starring Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor, Padman was banned because its storyline revolved around the subject of menstruation which is considered a taboo in the country. Alia Bhatt’s Raazi was banned due to its controversial content while Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees was banned because of its 'inaccurate' portrayal of Muslims. Anushka Sharma’s Pari was banned on the grounds that the film’s content promoted black magic, non-Islamic values and anti-Muslim sentiments. Sonam Kapoor’s Neerja and Raanjhanaa were also banned.
Deepak Mukut, Soham Rockstar Entertainment states, “We are disturbed by this prejudiced verdict and it’s such an irony because our film talks about this very prejudice. We urge the Pakistani Censor Board to reconsider their decision. They will realise how essential it is to the well-being of the human race across the world.”
Sinha has penned a "letter to Pakistan", through which he raises a question about why the censors in Pakistan are not letting the citizens watch a film "that talks about co-existence".
Addressed to "Dear citizens of Pakistan" in what he calls a "risk of being called an anti-national by some losers back home", Sinha's letter reaches out to film lovers across the border as they will not be able to see the film legally.
"Why is it that they do not want you to see the film that talks about co-existence. I know, sooner or later, you will have access to the film. Please do watch it and give me your opinion why did the Pakistan censor board ban the film.
"I really wanted you all to see this film legally, but do watch it illegally if you must, though our digital team at home is working hard to stop all piracy," wrote Sinha, who also pointed out how based on the trailer, some people in India thought it was pro-Muslim and people in Pakistan felt it stereotyped Muslims.
Sinha has maintained the film is about "love that all of us individuals should have".
"You have Hindus as a minority in your country and we have Muslims as a minority in ours. We all must work towards co-existing in peace and harmony."
A Benaras Media Works production, Mulk is produced by Mukut and Sinha. The film features Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Prateik Babbar, Rajat Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana, Manoj Pahwa and Neena Gupta.
Bollywood's other releases for Friday -- Karwaan and Fanney Khan -- have been cleared for release in Pakistan, according to trade sources.