Films

It’s a Bo Kata decision on Raees!

Written by Omair Alavi

By:Omair Alavi Pakistan’s Censor Board is all about making fool of themselves. Sorry to say but in the last 1 year or so, they have proved that they aren’t capable of deciding which film to clear and which to ban. They banned Maalik last year for the reason that they show an elected government official…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Feb 7, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

By:Omair Alavi

Pakistan’s Censor Board is all about making fool of themselves. Sorry to say but in the last 1 year or so, they have proved that they aren’t capable of deciding which film to clear and which to ban. They banned Maalik last year for the reason that they show an elected government official get murdered by his guard but only after 3 weeks had passed and the film had done well in cinemas. That was 2016 – in 2017, they began the year by banning Raees for reasons that will even seem childish to a 2-year old!

So, what if Shah Rukh Khan is a bootlegger in Raees? Didn’t Munawwar Saeed run a bar in Mulaqat and wore a topi when he saw his uncle pay a surprise visit, saying that he was going for Zohr prayers. Didn’t Waheed Murad hold a wine glass when he was singing Dil Ko Jalana in Mohabbat Zindagi Hai. Wasn’t Nadeem’s character shown to be drunk in Behke Qadam Anjaani Rahain in Badal Aur Bijli? Wasn’t Mohammad Ali drinking during Khudara Mohabbat Na Karna in Mohabbat? Are the Censor people stupid or they really don’t know that people in this Islamic Republic drink?

This isn’t the first time Pakistan’s Censor Board has shown that they are the ones stopping our industry from growing. Director W.Z. Ahmed’s Roohi (1954) was the first flick to face the ban because it showed that a rich married woman fell for a poor unmarried man because such a thing didn’t happen in their minds. They also objected to every film that was released during General Zia’s regime because in his opinion, Muslims were pious men and they couldn’t do anything wrong. Even after the world had moved into the new millennium, the mindset of our officials remained in 1947. They banned Tere Bin Laden because it made fun of the then-alive-and-in-hiding Osama Bin Laden. They banned Raanjhna because in Pakistan, a Muslim girl can’t fall for a Hindu guy although in Shaan-e-Pakistan’s Tere Pyaar Main, the Muslim Shaan went to India to win back the love of Preeti, a Hindu girl played by Zaara Sheikh and they were aided in escaping by a Sikh girl, played by Veena Malik. Sonam Kapoor’s Neerja wasn’t even presented to the Censor Board because the distributors feared that depicting the sad incident of 1986 would bring bad memories that should better be forgotten. Instead of making sure that such incidents don’t happen, the officials take the easy route and stop the film from screening as its much simpler.

If relations between Pakistan and Iran sour, will the authorities close Chilloo Kabab restaurants in the country? Will they raid Lebanese restaurant if they found out that Lebanon didn’t treat Pakistanis well? Will Doner Kabab be the victim if Turkey refused to help Pakistan in some issue that wasn’t that important? If that will not happen, why ban India blockbuster – Raees – in Pakistan especially when it has a Pakistani actress in it. Wasn’t Ajay Devgn a Muslim terrorist in Once Upon A Time in Mumbai; Akshay Kumar in Once Upon A Time in Mumbai 2? These films did well in cinemas and weren’t banned so why Raees? We have addressed the bootlegging above so what remains the main issue? If it has something to do with the Election Symbol Raees Hussain uses during his campaign, then I am sorry, we are not ready to watch films in cinema. Neither Hollywood, nor Bollywood but the Gujjar classics as they don’t require your mind to function!

Do you know that we dubbed the word Kashmir in ‘Firdous Maango Gay To Cheer Denge’ although the original dialogue was shown in the trailer? That 786 was removed from the title of Khiladi 786 because it offended Muslims? Sorry sir but we Muslims aren’t that easily offended and when we are, we take action against it. So please don’t chop films for us because we pay for the full ticket and expected to be treated fully. Why do you even have the RATING system in place when you have to cut most of the scenes in Deadpool?

Yes, we stood behind you when ban GI Joe II: Retaliation was banned where the Pakistani President was supposedly assassinated; we didn’t say a word when Baby was not released but we aren’t stupid. Chopping off the ‘Azaan’ from Life of Pi, the Indian anthem from Airlift or the final dance sequence from ABCD — Any Body Can Dance — are choices you shouldn’t make. The Airlift scene was the most important one in the movie yet we had to let go of it as our Censor Board thought that would make people love India. Dude, people thronged to cinemas when Bollywood films were released and the house was full when 4-month old Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was screened. So please don’t make us watch the films at home again due to your ineptness and illogical decisions.

We must realize that making us the only Muslim Super Power doesn’t make us strong – Pakistanis are treated like second rate citizens in most Muslim countries and we should do something about that, rather protecting the image of Muslims on screen. India has more Muslims than Pakistan but they didn’t ban Raees? Not one Muslim objected to the film in India which is a Hindu Secular country unlike us, yet we are portrayed as the Stupid ones here. The Middle East countries had no problem with the film from where supposedly SRK’s character was getting his smuggled goods. So why again did we have the problem, considering all 3 lead actors in the movie – Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui – are Muslims in real life. Grow up my friends in the Censor Board … thank you for putting Pakistan on the radar for people all over the world to ridicule us. We don’t deserve being ridiculed, but you do!

About the author

Omair Alavi