'Dangal' to not release in Pakistan over demand for cuts

Published: April 7, 2017
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Dangal movie cover. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Dangal movie cover. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Actor-producer Aamir Khan has decided against releasing his Bollywood blockbuster Dangal in Pakistan after the censor board here demanded that two scenes involving the Indian flag and anthem be cut.

According to Hindustan Times, “When the film went to the Pakistan censor board, they were fine with it except for two particular scenes towards the end — one in which the Indian flag is shown and another in which the Indian national anthem is played after Geeta Phogat (played by Fatima Sana Shaikh) wins the gold medal. The Pakistan censors wanted the scenes to be edited out before they gave Dangal the green signal,” says an insider.

Is the fate of Dangal now in the hands of PM Nawaz?

Mobashir Hasan, Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) head, told IANS: “Yes, the board unanimously decided to skip two scenes.”

Asked why the Indian flag and anthem needed to be cut, Hasan said: “The decision is the collective wisdom of the board.”

He added that it was now up to the local distributor to release it or not.

Subsequently, Aamir has decided not to release the movie in Pakistan, saying the demanded cuts were crucial to the spirit of the film, his spokesperson told IANS.

Aamir, who is also the producer of the film, felt that the “demand for the two cuts was surprising, because the film isn’t jingoistic in nature”. The source says, “It’s a sports-based biopic with no direct or indirect reference to Pakistan. The film only highlights India’s nationalistic sentiment, so what is the reason to chop off those scenes?”

‘Dangal’ wins gold at the box office

“It will result in an economic loss to the tune of Rs 10-12 crore, as Pakistan is an important international territory vis-à-vis money, but he isn’t willing to edit the scenes in question. He is aware that not releasing the film could lead to piracy, but he is sure about what he won’t do,” adds the source.

Dangal is a movie inspired by the real-life story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who trains his daughters to become wrestling champions.

The news comes just over two months after Pakistani film exhibitors and cinema owners lifted a self-imposed ban on the screening of Indian films in the wake of heightened tensions with India over the September 2016 terror attack in Uri.

The Express Tribune is currently awaiting a statement from the Chairman Censor Board. 

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Irfan_Sydney
    Apr 7, 2017 - 10:45AM

    I would call it a blessing in disguise. Pakistani people could do something better with the saved money for not watching that trash. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:07AM

    Good decision by Pakistan. While everyone is for peace but enough of Indian war mongering and propaganda over Kashmir.
    We can certainly live without India when it comes to self respect. May peace be with India.Recommend

  • Gagan
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:17AM

    What a stupid censor board…… we in india see movies with US UK or for that matter any other country national anthem is played…. even during the last cricket world cup national anthem is played live irrespective of countries. Its show your insecurites……Recommend

  • Chris
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:21AM

    It’s like banning Hollywood film coz the American flag is shown.. There are so. Many movies with USA flags or other country flags.. Recommend

  • vinsin
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:44AM

    Lets say it simply CBFC didnt want the movie to be released in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Yogesh
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:47AM

    I was just wondering how people like Aamir Khan disprove Jinnah’s two nation theory every second of every day. Brilliant actor and brilliant movie!Recommend

  • Faisal
    Apr 7, 2017 - 12:21PM

    Good riddance! High time Pakistan get out of Indian culture which is a sinking boat for a Muslim country anyway. Let Indian Muslims do whatever they want to. Pakistan should go its own way and build relations with the other 199 countries in the world today instead of being stuck with one which has come with a very heavy price tag over the last 70 years. Win-win situation.Recommend

  • Abdul Awwal
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:10PM

    We all saw Dangal and cheered at the actor and the Indian flag in the movie, but we are still Bangladeshis and Bangladesh is our motherland. Recommend

  • Mostly Bull
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:12PM

    @ Faisal: Pakistan should go its own way and build relations with the other 199 countries in the world……unfortunately, 197 (except iron burder and his mad cousin) of the 199 do not want to build any relations with pakstan…!!!! Sad but True.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:28PM

    I have seen the movie ….and its based on a true story…..and there was absolutely nothing objectionable in it. Possibly it could be edited for length.Recommend

  • Gagan
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:37PM

    @Irfan_Sydney: I suggest you to see the movie… it will be good to you, specially your children and a country as a whole… its a marvellous movie… i watch it thrice with my kids…. I suggest you to must watch and then comment…..Recommend

  • Feroz
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:42PM

    @Abdul Awwal:
    What I cannot understand is how can a flag offend anyone, does not matter which country it belongs to. In American movies we can see American flags, in Indian movie an Indian flag, in an Iranian movie an Iranian flag — where is the offense ? Recommend

  • Abdul Awwal
    Apr 7, 2017 - 2:09PM

    @Irfan_Sydney: Yes, with the sort of conditions in Pakistan, you really have to SAVE to go a movie.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Apr 7, 2017 - 2:48PM

    @Gagan:
    Our insecurities?? We are open minded and big hearted enough to release and appreciate Indian movies on cinemas in Pakistan despite your hate mongering. India doing the same? What a brainless person you are.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Apr 7, 2017 - 2:49PM

    @Gagan:
    don’t you get it?? Pakistan was never attacked by the UK or USA. Only one regional bully has tried to destroy Pakistan in 3 wars and failed miserably! Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Apr 7, 2017 - 3:38PM

    @Parvez: This country is unfortunate to have self respect for this country devoid

    characters like you. Will you die if you don’t watch these indian movies???Recommend

  • Ravi
    Apr 7, 2017 - 3:38PM

    @Faisal: What culture does Pakistan have anyway? Sadly everything is copied from Indian culture. Even singing and dancing is un-islamic. So stop bragging for no reason. You have nothing to showcase.Recommend

  • ABC
    Apr 7, 2017 - 4:46PM

    There is no height of India stupidity as evident from the comments. They are comparing India to US. They should compare it to Somalia, Bangladesh etc Recommend

  • OSD
    Apr 7, 2017 - 4:47PM

    Good riddance! We don’t need this commercial trash!Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 7, 2017 - 4:51PM

    No need to release it now. Many of us did our national duty and watched it on internet. The only losers are businessmen who did not get return on their investments and government who lost tax revenue. Recommend

  • Irfan_Sydney
    Apr 7, 2017 - 5:07PM

    Please don’t insult Somalia and Bangladesh. 60% of Indian population do not have the facility of having a toilet. That makes both Somalia and Bangladesh a lot more advanced compared to India. Recommend

  • London Banker
    Apr 7, 2017 - 5:39PM

    Good decision. Their anthem should not be played in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Mouli
    Apr 7, 2017 - 5:57PM

    @Faisal: “@Gagan:
    don’t you get it?? Pakistan was never attacked by the UK or USA. Only one regional bully has tried to destroy Pakistan in 3 wars and failed miserably!” – Good Sattire!!Recommend

  • Maya
    Apr 7, 2017 - 7:31PM

    @Gagan:
    Hypocrisy much?.. India banned Pakistani shows on Zindagi, Ban on Pakistani actors ( Fawad khan episode) and you are crying foul on omitting national anthem scene when are cinemas are still showing your films for the masses. Tell me how open is your country on showing Pakistani content ?Recommend

  • Nithin
    Apr 7, 2017 - 8:04PM

    What if it was US flag? Still they suggest cuts? Also, what country flag will they show when an Indian wins a medalRecommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:17PM

    @Last Man Alive: I watch possibly two or three Indian movies, if they have good reviews, in a year. Does that make me less a Pakistani ? …. I think not. Would I die if I did not watch them ?….certainly not. But if I restricted my thinking and vision to your way of thinking, I would certainly be narrowing my overall view-point and thus would be poorer for that. Recommend

  • Truther
    Apr 8, 2017 - 12:20AM

    Finally a Good NewsRecommend

  • Umar
    Apr 8, 2017 - 12:29AM

    @Ravi:
    You sure you are not confusing culture with religion? Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Apr 8, 2017 - 1:07AM

    @Maya:
    No the hypocrisy is that you WANT to show an INDIAN film asking to cut the INDIAN FLAG raising and INDIAN ANTHEM scenes.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 8, 2017 - 3:29AM

    @Parvez:
    No, you are no less patriot than anyone. I watch almost every good Indian movie. I also watch Punjabi and dubbed South Indian movies. Beside that I listen Indian Music, watch cricket matches and have traveled to India. Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachan are my most favorite personalities. I like them more than any Pakistan entertainer. Still, I challenge that no one is more patriot Pakistani than me. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad Khujli
    Apr 8, 2017 - 8:57AM

    @Ch Allah Daad
    Best of luck with your net surfing.keep on depriving your govt of taxes and thousands of poor cinema workers of their livelihood, who along with their progenies will have a better option of turning to Jihad for their subsistance.In the mean time Dangal touches INR 800 crore (1305 crore PKR) mark worldwide.so much for some people causing hurt to Indian cinema.Recommend

  • Haider
    Apr 8, 2017 - 7:13PM

    I don’t know what is the problem of Pakistani and indian people in this regard. Fellow indians be happy with your films and if our country won’t watch it or why it won’t watch it why do you care. It is our country and we make our own decisions for our reasons. And my Pakistani brothers would you die if you didn’t watch bollywood films. If they ban our actors why we should support them. Let’s promote our lollywood so that our support helps it grow and let indians care about their filmsRecommend

  • Hasan
    Jun 11, 2017 - 12:03AM

    @Gagan
    “..even during the last cricket world cup national anthem is played live irrespective of countries. Its show your insecurites.”

    R u living with ur head in the sand? indian propaganda against Pakistan airs on ur national tv 24/7. Even Bollywood has become a mouth-piece for Indian Government war mongering. Your government has succeeded in poisoning the Sports in India as well; No matches against Pakistan.

    And you sir have the guts to take about INSECURITIES in Pakistan?

    No none of the above actions hapoen in Pakistan tv, films, sports board etc. we are happily existing without India if only India would let us live in Peace since 1947.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jun 11, 2017 - 12:17AM

    @Ravi.
    sorry sir, NOTHING in Pakistan is from Indian culture. we dont sing bhajans or dance to religious music.

    Feel sorry for pathetic Indian attempts at Urdu. Ghalib must be turning in his grave poor man.Recommend

  • Sokultu
    Jun 29, 2017 - 11:19AM

    @Irfan_Sydney:
    Right ! Probably with the saved money Pakistan can host another high profile guess in Abttabad. Meanwhile the same movie became highest non-hollywood money spinner in China. You know well that China too is not a friend of India.
    May be that is the reason why China is where it is & Pakistan is where it is. Recommend

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