HomeEntertainmentCinemaDiaspora Effect: Ban Is A Three-Letter Word But Costs Crores

Diaspora Effect: Ban Is A Three-Letter Word But Costs Crores

Diaspora Effect: Ban Is A Three-Letter Word But Costs Crores

Diaspora Effect: Ban Is A Three-Letter Word But Costs Crores

By Vinod Mirani

The Indian diaspora spread all over the world has mostly stayed connected to its roots. And one of the institutions that keeps this connection alive is Indian cinema. These films could be in Hindi or in any of the South Indian languages.

The Indian film market is spread far and wide, but Indian films also must conform to the local culture and sensibilities, mainly of the religious kind. We do not make films that are against any other country or its culture, but when it comes to religious sentiments, considering the mixed population we have, Indian films feature characters from different religious backgrounds. Yet, Indian films cannot always please all people.

Almost all countries exhibiting films have their own censorship bodies. It is also not uncommon for them to occasionally ban films from theatrical release. The reason could be vulgarity, nudity or religious sentiments being hurt.

Films are most banned in Islamic countries. Banning vulgar and other objectionable content is understandable, but a factor peculiar to Islamic countries is that a film with content against a friendly country, which means another Islamic country, is frowned upon.

Generally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a lucrative market, is quite open and liberal about viewing films as just a means of entertainment. But when another Islamic nation objects to a film, the Emirates government respects its sentiments. Besides, which country wants a film to ferment restlessness among its people, especially if it has mostly expatriates from various countries!

The latest film to be banned in the UAE is ‘Fighter‘. Losing the UAE business means goes chunk out of your recovery, considering that 60 percent of the Emirates population is from the sub-continent. And, because the film is said to have cost a mammoth Rs 400+ crore.

The film is not against Islam, but it deals with the fraught relations between India and Pakistan. Still, there’s no reason for one Islamic nation to spoil its relations with another for the sake of one film. Pakistan keeps banning Hindi films off and on, but these don’t always get banned in other Islamic nations.

Akshay Kumar’s ‘Baby’, banned in Pakistan, was allowed to be screened in other Islamic nations because the villains in the film were not specifically designated as Pakistani. ‘Udta Punjab’, too, was allowed in other Islamic countries because it focused only on the Pakistani drug trade in so far as it affected India.

Also banned in Pakistan, but not elsewhere, were ‘Pad Man’, ‘Raanjhanaa’, ‘Naam Shabana’, ‘Tere Bin Laden’, ‘Mulk’, ‘Raees’, ‘Neerja’, and, of course, ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ and ‘Gadar 2’

Can’t always find a logical explanation for this banning business, be it in India Pakistan, or any other country!

Other films banned in the Middle East included Salman Khan’s ‘God Tussi Great Ho’, besides ‘Beast’, ‘The Kashmir Files’, ‘Bell Bottom’, ‘Kurup’, ‘The Killer’, ‘Padmaavat’, ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘Oh My God’, ‘Tiger 3’ (Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar), and ‘Samrat Prithiviraj’ (Kuwait and Oman).

Can you imagine, ‘Delhi Belly’ was banned in Nepal! Of all the countries, Kuwait found ‘The Dirty Picture’ objectionable for its bold content. And, for whatever reason, Mani Rathnam’s ‘Bombay’ was banned in Singapore.

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  • I feel it’s time we should stop India Pakistan war movies specially showing Pakistanis are dumb. we have seen enough of it and does not help improve our relations.

    February 7, 2024

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