Aamir Khan’s Dangal could have added to its already-spilling coffers with a grand opening in Pakistan that recently opened its doors to Indian films once again. But Aamir Khan has reportedly said no-show after Pakistan’s censor board demanded two crucial cuts in the film which has broken all box office records and earned critical acclaim — the scene where Indian flag and National Anthem are there needed to go, say reports.
The ban on the screening of Bollywood movies was lifted by Pakistan recently. Post the lift, the local distributors requested for the screening of Aamir Khan’s blockbuster hit Dangal, also starring Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra. Aamir Khan and his team were okay with the release of the film in the neighbouring country. However, according to reports in Hindustan Times, the Pakistan censor board apparently has problems with two particular scenes in the film.
Both the scenes are towards the climax of the film. While one shows the Indian Flag, the other has Indian National Anthem playing in the background. According to an insider quoted in the report, the censor board wanted both the scenes edited out of the film before release. Aamir was apparently surprised by this request, especially since the movie doesn’t portray extreme patriotism.
This insider said, “It’s a sports-based biopic with no direct or indirect reference to Pakistan. The film only highlights India’s nationalistic sentiment, so what is the reason to chop off those scenes?” It was apparently after this request that Aamir Khan decided not to release the film in Pakistan. Even though the film might result in about Rs 10-12 crore in loss, Aamir is reportedly not ready to edit the scenes.
Dangal recently signed a contract with Netflix to the tune of Rs 20 crore for screening the film and before that the movie also collected Rs 385 crore at the Indian box office. Aamir Khan, who also happens to be the producer of the film, is apparently aware that his decision could lead to piracy.
This is not the first time Pakistan censor board had an issue with Hindi films since the ban was lifted. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees was not allowed screening as it “portrayed Muslims in a negative light” while Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2 had do undergo massive cuts given its mention of Kashmir and scenes shot there. The producers had accepted the cuts and the film was finally screened in Pakistan.