Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan has not even been viewed by the Pakistan Censor Board.
After Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Tapsee Pannu’s Naam Shabana, it is Vidya Balan’s Begum Jaan which has met the same fate of not being allowed to release in Pakistan. There was also Aamir Khan’s Dangal which did not release in the other country. But that was the actor’s decision to not release his film without the Indian National Anthem.
But Begum Jaan’s case is different. Talking over the issue, the producer of the film, Mahesh Bhatt informs, “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.”
The producer upset with his film not releasing in Pakistan says, “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.”
Srijit Mukherji, who happens to be the director of the film, also talked about the matter 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 analyzing 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.”
Begum Jaan’s story is based on a brothel owner who struggles with the government authorities to save her place which has been ordered to be demolished for construction of Indo-Pak border. Apart from Vidya Balan, the film also stars Naseeruddin Shah, Gauahar Khan and Pallavi Sharda. It is slated to release on April 14, this year.