Censor Board bans Raanjhanaa in Pakistan

Bollywood film shelved for plot that centers on Muslim girl falling for Hindu man.


Our Correspondent July 02, 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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