Mahesh Bhatt’s Begum Jaan starring Vidya Balan is making waves across the country with its killer music and dialogue trailer. While everyone is waiting for the film to release, there is some bad news for Bollywood fans residing in Pakistan.
Earlier this month, Pakistan’s CBFC banned Taapsee Pannu’s Naam Shabana and now, it’s Begum Jaan that has been added to the list. As the movie portrays strong emotions related to the India-Pakistan partition and its consequences, the Pakistani CBFC has decided to ban the movie and this has disheartened Mahesh Bhatt.
While conversing with a leading daily, Bhatt said, “I was told by my distributor that Pakistan, as a policy, does not permit the import of films dealing with the issue of Partition. I requested the key officer of the Pakistan censor board to at least view the film and then take a decision. I was assured they would look into the matter. Sadly, I have not heard from them since. My distributor informs me that his office has been intimated that Begum Jaan won’t be imported into Pakistan.”
An agonised Bhatt continued saying, “I did not look at Pakistan just as a market to sell my wares. Yes, when Begum Jaan was not viewed by their Censor Board, I was ridiculed by some of my close associates. That did hurt.”
However, director Srijit Mukherjee explained the entire scenario saying, “It is the rule of someone’s land, which must be respected. Unfortunately, the common thread binding these two nations is the history and Partition is the integral tragedy connecting us. All the hatred can be traced back to it.Understanding and analysing it from a human view would help but it’s a pity they don’t want to. They are touchy and sensitive about this issue”
We really hope Begum Jaan is certified to be viewed as a piece of art and isn’t merely treated as a weapon of disgrace.