Censor Board bans Raanjhanaa in Pakistan

Published: July 2, 2013

CEO IMGC Global Entertainment says a letter from CBFC states that the film portrays an inapt image of a Muslim girl. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: Bollywood movie Raanjhanaa has been banned by the Central Board of Film Censors in Pakistan shortly before its scheduled release, for its ‘controversial plot’. Previously, the Censor Board also banned films including Ek Tha Tiger, G.I Joe and Agent Vinod for “anti-Pakistan” sentinements.

Chief Executive Officer of IMGC Global Entertainment Amjad Rasheed, the importer of Raanjhanaa, told The Express Tribune that he received a letter from CBFC with directives to shelve the film’s release. “The letter from CBFC states that the film portrays an inapt image of a Muslim girl [played by Sonam Kapoor] falling in love with a Hindu man and having an affair with him.”

Anand L Rai’s Raanjhanaa’s release in Pakistan was scheduled during the last week of June. Pakistani singer Shiraz Uppal has also lent his voice for the title track of the film, composed by AR Rehman.

The Bollywood film’s plot portrays Muslim girl Zoya (Sonam) falling in love with Kundan (Dhanush) and later Jasjeet Singh (Abhey Deol). The film starts with pundit’s Hindu Brahmin son Kundan falling for Zoya at first sight. He follows her to school, after school, in the market — almost everywhere. After getting slapped 16 times by Zoya, Kundan finally gets to know her name, but his hesitation that she will reject him because of his religion leads him to introduce himself as Rizwan. She agrees to meet him behind a temple, but the meeting does not turn out well as Zoya finds out that he’s Hindu.

As the story unfolds, Zoya also develops feelings for Kundan, however, her parents find out about it and send her off to Delhi in order to protect the family’s honour. Later in Delhi, Zoya falls in love with Jasjeet Singh, a student leader who also leads a political party.

Raanjhanaa grossed INR1.31 billion in its second week of release.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (49)

  • Dr Dang
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:04PM

    & then you wonder why is Pakistan in a dump.

    Recommend

  • Anshuman tripathy
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:23PM

    Thanks for spoiling the movie for everyone ET. ‘Spoiler Alert’ , try using these words next time you want to write an article on yet another movie that pakistan plans on banning.

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  • Arijit Sharma.
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:37PM

    ” … The letter from CBFC states that the film portrays an inapt image of a Muslim girl [played by Sonam Kapoor] falling in love with a Hindu man and having an affair with him. … ”

    This has to be one of the silliest reasons to ban a movie. But again, this goes to prove that Pakistani opinion makers think of Hindus in non-flattering terms.

    Recommend

  • S
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:38PM

    This shows the mentality of indian media and indians. are there many bollywood movies where indian or hindu girls fall in love with muslims or Pakistanis?

    Bollywood should be banned all togather in Pakistan.

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  • Mohammed Yusaf Khan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 10:17PM

    But its perfectly fine to release “My name is Khan,” where a Muslim boy marries a Hindu girl.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:36PM

    @S: “This shows the mentality of indian media and indians. are there many bollywood movies where indian or hindu girls fall in love with muslims”

    In India Hindu Muslim marriages are not considered bad whether it is a Hindu man marrying a Muslim woman or a Muslim man marrying a Hindu woman. There are dozens of celebrities who have done this in India. Infact Amir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Imran Khan have all married Hindu women and obviously largely Hindu India does not consider this to be objectionable or else they would have stopped watching their movies. Many Hindu men have also married Muslim women Sunil Dutt, Kishore Kumar, Hrithik ROshan, Pandit Ravi Shankar’s first marriage to name just a few. Shahid Kapur, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Imran Khan, Sanjay Dutt are all people whose one parent was Hindu and the other Muslim at the time of their marriage. This just is not seen as a social problem and is upto individual families to decide. Thus the movie does not reflect any mentality – good or bad.

    Now coming to whether there are any Bollywood movies where a Hindu girl marries a Muslim man – yes many. TO name a few:
    – My name is Khan
    – Qurban
    – New York
    – Mission Kashmir (where Hrithik Roshan’s adopted Dad played by Sunjay Dutt is Muslim and Mom is Hindu.Recommend

  • np
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:43PM

    “Raanjhanaa grossed INR1.31 billion in its second week of release”

    There is no way this is accurate. Did you mean INR 1.31 crores in second week? INR 1.31 billion means 131 crores.

    “his shows the mentality of indian media and indians. are there many bollywood movies where indian or hindu girls fall in love with muslims”

    This shows your mentality rather than film maker because you seem to think that women are inferior to men. Otherwise it would be irrelevant whether a Muslim man marries a Hindu woman or Hindu man marries a Muslim woman. TO give a direct and specific answer to your question : yes
    Jodha Akbar
    My Name is Khan and many more.

    Recommend

  • prashant
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:03AM

    @S:
    go and watch my name is khan where hindu girl marries muslim boy…

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:19AM

    In India interfaith marriages are not considered to be a social issue whether a Hindu man marries a Muslim woman or vice versa. These issues are a matter for families themselves to sort out. Some families find it okay when their kids marry outside their faith and others don’t. That also holds for marriage between people of different castes and languages.

    The difference between India and Pakistan is so glaring. In a largely Hindu India no one created a problem when Kareena Kapoor married Saif Ali Khan or when decades before that Sharmila Tagore married Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. OF course dozens of examples of the reverse also are available. In Pakistan even the idea that a Hindu boy could pursue a Muslim girl in a movie seems to be unacceptable.

    Anyway I have a question. If a romance between a Muslim girl and a non-Muslim man is unacceptable to show and the reason for banning Raanjhna, why was ‘Khuda Kay Liye’ no banned?

    @S: “are there many bollywood movies where indian or hindu girls fall in love with muslim”

    Yes:
    My Name is Khan
    Qurbaan
    New York
    Jodha Akbar
    Mission KAshmirRecommend

  • Mohammed Rizvi
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:15AM

    Censor board in Pakistan are committing worse crimes against humanity than the terrorists. Recommend

  • Mohammed Rizvi
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:16AM

    Censor board in Pakistan are committing worse crimes against humanity than the terrorists. Recommend

  • Asmaa
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:20AM

    @Mohammed Rizvi:
    Are you mad? This was just a movie. Nobody cares.

    Recommend

  • Someone
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:26AM

    @Mohammed Rizvi: Woah woah. Tone it down a bit, no need to get over-sensitive.

    PS. I don’t watch Indian movies in the first place. Ban or no ban, I and most of the rest of the modern younger generation I know hardly care when Bolly gets banned.

    Recommend

  • Haha
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:25PM

    This has hurt some of the so called true Muslims . These people forget that they are converts of their Hindu clan . In other words they are bashing their ancestors . Just grow up and remove veil from your eyes to see the modern world !!!

    Recommend

  • Chetan
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:35PM

    Raanjhanaa grosses Indian Rs. 68.50 crore at the box office worldwide till second weekend. Source – http://www.equitybulls.com/admin/news2006/news_det.asp?id=123996

    Recommend

  • Hardliner
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:43PM

    Rightly done so………. atleast the censor board is working in Pakistan~! great going!

    Recommend

  • Shiraz
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:07PM

    hahaha joke, Pakistan market is insignificant to Bollywood, it wont even be 1 % of what they collect in India and other parts. In any case, Raanjhanaa is a superhit and still going strong.

    What exactly is anti Pakistan in Raanjhaana ? How was Pakistan insulted in the movie ?

    Maybe the name is anti Pakistan .maybe there are conspiracies to malign Pakistan.
    To me ,it seems like a international Hindu-Zion-American conspiracy to malign Pakistan
    Nawaz Sharif should set up a commitee and look into the matter

    Recommend

  • KHK
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:12PM

    Why is this always a Muslim girl falling in love with a hindu boy in hind films and no the other way around

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  • Nishant
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:48PM

    This movie’s premised is basically a hindu boy and muslim girl falling love with each other
    so obviously a hindu and muslim loving each other is against the basic ideology of pakistan
    it might have worked had the film been about them hating each other, that is what the country of PK is based on

    Recommend

  • GrimmJow
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:55PM

    @Someone – So why ban it at all, if people do not care? Logic at its best!

    Recommend

  • Doctor
    Jul 3, 2013 - 2:07PM

    Feel sorry for the open minded good Pakistanis(i believe there are a lot of them).Because i have seen this film and its wonderful.

    Recommend

  • np
    Jul 3, 2013 - 3:01PM

    @KHK: “Why is this always a Muslim girl falling in love with a hindu boy in hind films and no the other way around”

    A) Your statement is factually incorrect. In many movies it is a Hindu girl married to a Muslim man. Please read my earlier post and also that of @gp65 for a list.

    B) Unless you think that women are inferior to men, it should be irrelevant whether the man or the woman in a Hindu-Muslim marriage is Muslim.

    c) Forget movies – in real life there are many Hindu women married to Muslim men and viceversa in India. Many of these are celebrities, so it is easy for you to check. Pt. Ravi Shankar, Kishore Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Hrithik Roshan are examples of Hindu men married to Muslim women. Mansoor Alik Khan Pataudi, Azharuddn, Amir Khan, Shaj Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Salim Khan (Salman Khan’s Dad and one half of the famous Salim Javed duo) are examples of the other. SOme individuals and families may feel comfortable living with a person of a different faith and others may not. Best to leave such matters to individuals. rather than having government interfere in such matters.

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  • Syed
    Jul 3, 2013 - 3:08PM

    Sensor Board has to pay a lot to run their Operations wake up and do something Now ” DO YOU UNDERSTAND” ..

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  • SAH
    Jul 3, 2013 - 4:17PM

    Insane move on the part of our censor board. Those who want to watch it will still get to watch it in the comfort of their homes. Customer is the king!

    PS: Interesting to see the amount of energy, logic and research going into the arguments/counter-arguments being made in the comments. ;)

    Recommend

  • Moiz Omar
    Jul 3, 2013 - 5:29PM

    I don’t really care to watch this movie, but the Censor Board bans like every movie.

    Recommend

  • someone
    Jul 3, 2013 - 8:27PM

    In Pakistan it is OK to show a bosom shaking, hip gyrating Muslim women in revealing clothes in movies as long as all those acts are to attract the pious Gandasa carrying, Hero who keeps hacking people here and there. But it is a cardinal sin to show an average , middle class simple Muslim girl to fall for a Hindu boy because watching this type of movies, the Muslim girls in Pakistan would start looking for Hindu boys in neighborhood to start a fling and would bring shame to their families. Good work censor board. Way to go.

    Recommend

  • Noob Saibot
    Jul 3, 2013 - 9:25PM

    OK everyone Time to ask the usual questions.

    What would Jinnah have said?

    Did this all begin with Zia ul Haq?

    When will Zaid Hamid go for Ghazwa e Hind after this great provocation on the Ummah?

    And (my favourite): Why was Pakistan made?

    ET don’t delete.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:11PM

    @gp65:
    Your logic is laughable to say the least…..One cannot compare Bollywood celebrities to the common muslim and hindu households…..You can ask any common muslim walking down your street and they will tell u that it is forbidden for a muslim to marry a hindu…..Execptions are very negligible and highly resisted…..that is why the movie has been banned as it does not show the true depiction of an ordinary muslim girl or household

    Recommend

  • Giri
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:34PM

    Thank God, there are no riots in Indian cities just like what we have seen post Bombay movie release, considering this is election time and every one out to woo to get votes.
    Indian muslims are more mature now and far more than their counter-parts in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:13AM

    @S:
    1. There are actually plenty of those films (Pinjar, for one). So you are just telling lies.

    Why does it even matter? The mere fact that it even matters to you shows that you are sexist.

    In summary, you are a sexist liar.

    Recommend

  • someone
    Jul 4, 2013 - 2:37AM

    @Muhammad Ali:
    Well Hindu-Muslim marriages are more common that lets just say an Arab-Pakistan or Turky-Pakistan or Palestine-Pakistan or Iran-Pakistan marriages. Could you please elaborate the reason ? On top of that they all are Pakistan’s “brother” countries.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali
    Jul 4, 2013 - 10:21AM

    @someone:
    You should do a bit of unbiased research :)…Hindu muslim marriages are not a common phenomenon at all….whatever happens in the movie industry cannot be put as a solid example…..Pakistan – Iran, Pakistan Arab, Turkey marriages are infact more common

    Recommend

  • Imran khan
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:07PM

    This is indian media mentality. I can name almost 10 movies where love story revolves around a Hindu guy and a Muslim girl, with one or two exceptions. Why its always Hindu guy and Muslim girl why not other way around… Because the media doesn’t want to show this and public wont like it as well…

    Recommend

  • Jul 4, 2013 - 12:31PM

    According to my opinion, this is not the solid reason to ban the film in Pakistan. The same things happen for last several years but nothing action against this. Why now this strict action suddenly?

    Recommend

  • Np
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:35PM

    @Muhammad Ali:
    I don’t know about Pakistan but Hindu Muslim marriages are not strongly resisted in urban educated families. Did you know for instance that the grand daughter of Bal Thackeray whom you all love to hate married a Muslim boy and he attended the marriage and blessed the union?

    My cousin sister – a Hindu is married to a Muslim boy also with her parents’ blessing.

    Of course when one goes for arranged marriages, one would not go for that but in love marriages it is not as uncommon as you think – at least in urban India.

    Recommend

  • Anil
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:52PM

    @Np: “Did you know for instance that the grand daughter of Bal Thackeray whom you all love to hate married a Muslim boy and he attended the marriage and blessed the union?”

    This is incorrect. Bal Thackeray’s grand-daughter Neha married a Hindu Gujarati medical practitioner Mannan Thakkar

    Recommend

  • Water Bottle
    Jul 4, 2013 - 3:36PM

    He he he he!

    What insecurity!!

    Come on Pakistan, this is a stale commercial flick.

    You don’t have to be insecure about to cheap story.

    Recommend

  • Procastinator
    Jul 4, 2013 - 4:19PM

    “The letter from CBFC states that the film portrays an inapt image of a Muslim girl [played by Sonam Kapoor] falling in love with a Hindu man and having an affair with him.”

    Ahh….my pious muslim brothers, I can understand how this can happening can give you god know how many sleepless nights.

    May be bollywood should make a movie on the real life of Rinkle Kumar or many such minor girls from interior Sindh. I am sure that will give a kick to these pious men’s libido

    Recommend

  • Hella
    Jul 4, 2013 - 4:20PM

    @Muhammad Ali “Pakistan – Iran, Pakistan Arab, Turkey marriages are infact more common”. Arabs like Kuwaitis do not even issue visas to Pakistanis, forget about marriage.
    @Anil “This is incorrect. Bal Thackeray’s grand-daughter Neha married a Hindu Gujarati medical practitioner Mannan Thakkar”
    You are wrong. One of his grandaughters has married a Muslim. Here is the link, http://islambad2day.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/shiv-sena-chief-bal-thackerays.html
    Of course there are many more.

    Recommend

  • Jul 4, 2013 - 7:44PM

    What exactly does the CBFC mean by “an inapt image of a muslim girl”? They should leave it to the viewers to judge that for themselves, and also whether the plot is realistic or not. The CBFC should stick to certifying films, not banning them.

    Recommend

  • someone
    Jul 4, 2013 - 8:57PM

    @Muhammad Ali:
    I hope you are talking about “real” marriages and not the type of marriages we here in news where an Arab Sheikh is coming to south Asian countries to “buy” a wife.

    Recommend

  • Rational
    Jul 4, 2013 - 10:19PM

    @hella..I m amused by your claim of Neha Thakare marrying a muslim..
    http://www.sunday-guardian.com/news/false-thackeray-wedding-tale-goes-viral-in-pak-netRecommend

  • Cosmo
    Jul 5, 2013 - 8:28AM

    @Asmaa:
    Indifference of people like is why Pakistan going to through such a mess. It starts with banning movies and then they ban you and your life.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali
    Jul 5, 2013 - 11:26AM

    @someone:
    Yes….I am talking about REAL marriages…not those fictional marriages as depicted in bollywood movies :)

    Recommend

  • Swadhin Mukherjee
    Jul 8, 2013 - 5:32PM

    People who claim that Hindi movies always show hindu guy and muslim and not other way round should 1st check out films like Qurbaan, My Name is Khan, Mission Kashmir and then get ur brain check. The fact is that Pakistan can’t accept that Hindu-Muslim can love each other and co-exist peacefully. Bcz that will question the very existence of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Mushtaq
    Jul 16, 2013 - 11:46PM

    Looks like the censor board didn’t watch the movie carefully, because Sonam Kapoor actually plays an Ahmadiyya girl. Once the censor board realizes this, they’re going to revoke the ban, because they’d find this portrayal of a non-muslim girl quite apt.

    Recommend

  • Anwar
    Jul 17, 2013 - 6:17AM

    Any idea that portrays hindu muslim love is against ideology of pakistan . This movie is a direct attack on ifeologynof pakistan and two nation theory! If such movies are allowed in our society then there ll be a great unrest! We ban this movie and ll keep on banning any such movies and …
    _ an extract from cencor board ban explaination.

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  • Jul 31, 2013 - 5:59PM

    I always used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of net thus from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2013 - 1:46PM

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