MUMBAI/KARACHI: Just a few days ago, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar’s latest venture PadMan – a film propagating awareness of menstrual hygiene – was reported to have been banned here in Pakistan.
According to members of the censor board, films on “taboo” topics such as menstruation should not be allowed to show in the country. In fact, the Federal Censor Board also denied issuing an NOC to PadMan and has announced it to be banned from cinemas everywhere.
This hullabaloo surrounding the film has riled up some local celebrities, who insist such stories are important to create awareness. Actors Sanam Saeed and Armeena Rana Khan, for instance, have come out in support of the Khiladi actor’s film, saying that it is imperative for it to be released in Pakistan so as to understand its sensitivity.
Taking to social media, the starlets showed their support for PadMan, stating that it is imperative to screen the movie in order to understand its sensitive nature.
“Periods. What’s the big deal people?,” asked the Daldal star.
“The entire female population gets them including mother, sisters and daughters. They are as natural as the changing of the seasons. Let’s not make a big deal out of it. No need to ban films. They happen. Period,” added Armeena.
Sanam, on the other hand took a more witty approach to address the subject.
“A man changed the lives of women across India, he made them aware of their unhygienic practices. He found a way to provide them with affordable sanitary napkins. But let’s not share that story because it has something to do with
#MenstrualHygiene. Tobah! #padman,” said the Cake starlet.
PadMan tells a story of a Arunachalam Muruganantham’s journey to make affordable sanitary napkins. A section of the media have said that it has been banned in Pakistan due to its sensitive subject.
On the flipside, a senior official of the board claims PadMan has not been denied an NOC for import into Pakistan, stated a press release. Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Mobashir Hasan said the decision regarding the NOC is yet to be made as the film had not been previewed yet.
“The decision to issue an NOC by the Ministry of Information Broadcasting National History and Literary Heritage is yet to be taken on the release of a foreign feature film PadMan, as it has not yet been previewed by the CBFC,” Mobashir tweeted. “The decision to grant the NOC to the subject film will be based on the merit and criteria of the CBFC, not vexatious, false and irresponsible political motives being created on various media platforms on the back of the film.”
Hasan went on to comment, “The decision to grant NOC to the subject film will be based on the merit and criteria of the CBFC, not vexatious, false and irresponsible political motives being created on various media platforms on the back of the film.
“It is advisable to maintain principles of integrity whilst making statements on any issues. Good values are the foundation upon which we will build a prosperous Pakistan, not upon a decision of releasing a solitary film,” he added.
PadMan tells the real life story of an Indian man named Arunachalam Muruganantham and how he came to inventing low cost sanitary napkins for women in Indian villages. Directed by R Balki, the film is based on a short story from Twinkle Khanna’s book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad and released the world over on February 9.
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