So you are eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Bajirao Mastani’? Why shouldn’t you. With Sanjay Leela Bhansali at the helm, the dashing Ranveer Singh romancing both the charming Deepika Padukone and the beautiful Priyanka Chopra, and the great storyline of a Maratha warrior, there is every reason for you to go and watch this film.
You can watch it, but Bollywood fans in Pakistan are most likely to be left disappointed because the censor board of the country has objected to certain aspects of the film.
According to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of Pakistan, the historical film is “anti-Islam and against Muslims”, reports a leading Pakistani newspaper.
The chairman of Pakistan’s CBFC, Mobasher Hasan, told The Express Tribune that besides the Islam angle, the film’s Hindi language is against the ordinance on screening of Indian films.
Banning of Indian films in Pakistan is not a new thing. Some 12 Bollywood films have been banned in the last five years in the country, including ‘Baby’, ‘Phantom’ and ‘Haider’.
But all the bans have come due to political or sexual content in the film. Sometimes the ban was imposed because of clash with release dates of Pakistani films.
This is the first time the Pakistani CBFC is raising a religious angle as a reason to ban an Indian film.
Voices in Pakistan have been calling for a permanent ban on Indian films for political or economic reasons. Early this year, the Lahore High Court threw out a similar request from a noted Pakistani celebrity, though the same court had banned ‘Phantom’.
It should be noted here that ‘Bajirao Mastani’ has not been banned outright but not cleared for release. The CBFC has stated that intimate scenes in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ were not the reason behind their decision.
At the same time, local film boards (Pakistan has separate boards for its provinces) in Punjab and Sindh have given a green signal to the film with minor cuts.