The Pakistan Film Censor Board has banned Dhanush-Sonam starrer "Raanjhanaa" from getting screened in the country, on grounds that the film allegedly endorses a "controversial theme."
"Raanjhanaa" is an intense love story of a Hindu Brahmin boy and a Muslim girl. The film marked the debut of south actor Dhanush, whose performance won accolades from all quarters.
The film was well appreciated for its refreshing screenplay and hilarious dialogues. It was scheduled to release in Pakistan in the last week of June. But the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) in Pakistan banned the film just ahead of its scheduled release saying the film projects a Muslim girl in an inappropriate manner.
Confirming the news, Chief Executive Officer of IMGC Global Entertainment Amjad Rasheed, the importer of "Raanjhanaa", told The Express Tribune that he has received a letter directing him to halt the film's screening.
"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," Rasheed said.
Interestingly, Pakistani singer Shiraz Uppal has lent his voice for the title track of "Raanjhanaa" which is composed by Oscar-award winning music director A R Rahman.
This is not the first time that Indian films are banned in Pakistan. A permanent ban on Indian films was first placed in 1965 and was lifted 43 years later in 2008.
Ever since the ban was revoked, Pakistan has become one of Bollywood's top five overseas markets, where several popular Indian films have done good business. Films like "3 Idiots", "My Name is Khan", "Bodyguard" and "Don 2" had ruled the Pakistan box office and raked in good collections.
Inspite of the popularity, several Indian films still face a ban in Pakistan. Among them were Salman Khan's "Ek Tha Tiger" and Saif Ali Khan's "Agent Vinod" which were banned from release over their controversial themes and "anti-Pakistan" sentiments.