Aamir Khan won't release Dangal in Pakistan after demands of chopping off national anthem

FP Staff

Apr,07 2017 11:06 45 IST

Given that Nitesh Tiwari's sports biopic from last year, Dangal, has become the highest grossing Hindi film of all time, it has seemingly piqued the curiosity of fans of Hindi cinema across the border in Pakistan.


The poster of Dangal.

The film could not be released simultaneously there when it released in India in December because of the temporary ban on Indian film releases imposed by Pakistani authorities, in retaliation to a ban on import of Pakistani artistes and technicians in India following the Uri attack in September 2016.

However, the ban was lifted by Pakistan in February when it facilitated the release of Sanjay Gupta's Kaabil which did fairly well at the box office in Pakistan. This prompted local distributors in Pakistan to request Aamir Khan, who is the producer of Dangal, to release the film in the neighbouring country.

While Aamir gave the green signal initially, he retracted his decision once the Pakistan censor board demanded two rather absurd cuts in the film - the waving of the Indian national flag and recital of the national anthem in the climax of the film.

Hindustan Times reports that the makers were puzzled by the demands as Dangal was not touted as a jingoistic film.

It is a sports biopic on the life of former Haryanavi wrestler Mahavir Phogat who trains his daughters, Geeta and Babita, in wrestling leading to Geeta winning a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games 2010. Her victory is marked by the waving of the national flag and recital of the national anthem.

Since both the acts are in context of Geeta's victory and highlights India's nationalistic sentiment, without any reference to Pakistan whatsoever, Aamir found the demands from across the border unreasonable. Consequently, he decided not to release the film in Pakistan.

The same report states that while it could cost the film a loss of Rs 10 to 12 crores, Aamir has chosen to stick to his decision, risking widespread piracy in Pakistan. Earlier this year, Rahul Dholakia's crime drama Raees was also not cleared for release in Pakistan because of "objectionable portrayal of Muslims".

Similarly, The Indian Express reports that a large number of cuts were demanded in Subhash Kapoor's courtroom drama Jolly LLB 2, including its references to Kashmir. The makers had complied with the demands and the film eventually released in Pakistan.

Published Date: Apr 07, 2017 11:06 AM | Updated Date: Apr 07, 2017 11:06 AM