Hindi films ‘banned’, Manipuris fly to Guwahati to watch Mary Kom

People also came from adjoining towns of Manipur to watch their most favourite sports star on the silver screen.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Updated: September 5, 2014 8:54 pm
Priyanka Chopra's Mary Kom review. People also came from adjoining towns of Manipur to watch their most favourite sports star on the silver screen. (Source: IE archive)

Rebel groups  may have banned screening of Hindi films in Manipur for over a decade now,  but that has not stood in the way of Manipuris love for Hindi cinema. And when the film is about Mary Kom, the most famous personality from this part of  northeast India, a number of Manipuris have flown out of Imphal to watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much-hyped bio-pic in Guwahati and other cities.

“Yes, theatre owners in Guwahati and Silchar have told me that quite a number of people have flown out from Manipur to watch the film that was released today,” said Abdul Mannan Faruk, whose Ajan Films is distributor for the film in which Priyanka Chopra has played the boxer. Faruk said ‘Mary Kom’ opened in 72 halls including a couple of multiplexes across Assam and Meghalaya today.

In Silchar in southern Assam, people came in busloads from Jiribam and other adjoining towns of Manipur to watch their most favourite sports star on the silver screen though the role is played by Priyanka Chopra. ”I am told that a number of Mary Kom fans from Manipur also flew to Guwahati yesterday and today to watch the film,” Faruk said.

Confirming this, Chinmoy Sharma, a leading theatre owner in Guwahati said the turnout was “pretty good” in the first two shows of ‘Mary Kom’ despite the student community remaining busy in Teachers’ Day celebrations on Friday. “The occupancy was as good as any other blockbuster Hindi film. Moreover, there was a significant turnout of Manipuris and tribal people,” said Sharma.

Hindi films have remained “banned” since 2002, with the rebel groups calling Hindi cinema a cultural invasion by “Indian expansionist forces.” Films made in the Meitei language meanwhile have thrived in the local market apart from making a major mark at the all-India level. Between 80 to 100 films are made in the state, mostly in the digital format.

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  1. A
    Alex
    Oct 25, 2015 at 2:23 am
    I don't understand their logic, if they wanna ban hindi movies then why be part of India to begin with? On the map they are clearly part of India and have been so for decades. It sounds like the people in this region are playing up a double standard, staying safe under a democracy but not adhering to their laws. I was hoping to travel to this region but it sounds like a dictatorship and I don't know how they'd feel towards foreigners. If these manipurians hate indians so much then I'm not sure how they'd feel towards europeans or my hispanic friend who happens to look indian so we will be skipping that region during the visit. How unfortunate. I hope India resolves this issue and the manipurians drop their backwards mentality.
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    1. A
      Alex
      Oct 25, 2015 at 2:24 am
      I don't understand their logic, if they wanna ban hindi movies then why be part of India to begin with? On the map they are clearly part of India and have been so for decades. It sounds like the people in this region are playing up a double standard, staying safe under a democracy but not adhering to their laws. I was hoping to travel to this region but it sounds like a dictatorship and I don't know how they'd feel towards foreigners. If these manipurians hate indians so much then I'm not sure how they'd feel towards europeans or my hispanic friend who happens to look indian so we will be skipping that region during the visit. How unfortunate. I hope India resolves this issue and the manipurians drop their backwards mentality.
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        Dordo Lac
        Sep 6, 2014 at 9:20 am
        but why this film has banned in Manipur? w world are eagerly waiting for the relase
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          Nisa Rabb
          Sep 15, 2014 at 11:32 pm
          Hindi cinena actually not represent hindustani culture and impose westren culture on Hindustan Nudism and nakedness is not hindustani ideny that's people boycott in our state
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            shashank kumar
            Sep 8, 2014 at 10:19 am
            I really loved the movie.I am no Manipuri but I understood the movie completely which means there was minmal language barrier.Even though this could be hurtful for people of Manipur as some parts of her life were but dramatized but I still feel that the way "Magnifiscent Mary's" life has been brought onto limelight and has covered a major part of the India is significant.I can surely say like me many youngsters are motivated not only to join sports but to do something meaningful for this country.Her life is a true testimony of strength and determination to achieve her goal and make India proud.
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