MUMBAI: As if the bad fate of Chandni Chowk To China at the box office was not enough, the film has been banned in Nepal.
The Nepal Government on 22 January banned the screening of the film, saying the film had wrongly mentioned India as the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Jai Nepal Cinema Hall in Katmandu, where the film was being screened had to stop the screening after receiving directives from the government. The theatre then began screening Ghajjini instead. The protestors on Wednesday had forcibly removed the film posters from the hall and ticket money was returned to the audiences.
The cabinet meeting held at Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s office also directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take diplomatic initiatives and appeal to nations to screen the movie only after deleting the portion that wrongly mentions India as the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Nepal minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara said, "The cabinet has asked the Foreign Ministry to write to the Indian government to point out that the movie had mentioned India instead of Nepal as Buddha’s birthplace."
The decision came after cine artists, students and youth across the country resorted to protests against the movie. The youth staged a demonstration near the Indian Embassy in the capital on 23 January.
On questioning about the incident, CC2C producer Rohan Sippy said, "Yes I have read about the incident but I have not spoken to anyone there as yet. We have not done anything intentionally."
Reports indicate that Ramesh Sippy apologised to Nepalis on behalf of the entire unit and regretted that sentiments of Nepalis were hurt even though it was not intended.
It has also been reported that Nepal foreign minister Upendra Yadav wrote a letter to the Indian government requesting not to allow the screening of the film without removing or deleting the scenes stating India as the birth place of lord Buddha.
When asked whether he would delete the said scene from the film Rohan said, "The film is in the distributor’s hand now so it is up to them to take the decision."