‘Lamhaa’ banned in Gulf States . Why ? What is the reason behind it
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Lamhaa’ banned in Gulf States
Thursday, 15 Jul, 2010 11:24 am
MUMBAI : A hard-hitting Bollywood film about the sensitive issue of life in Indian occupied Kashmir has been banned in a number of Gulf States, its makers said.
Five states — the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman — will not show "Lamhaa" (The Moment), which claims to tell the true story behind violence in the Indian occupied Kashmir.
"We got the film cleared from the Indian government and there was nothing objectionable," director Rahul Dholakia told AFP. "But the Gulf film authorities didn’t feel so. I am extremely disappointed."
Dholakia said he was shocked "Lamhaa" had been banned as he believed his film was about "peace and brotherhood".
Producer Bunty Walia said the film’s Middle East distributor had confirmed the ban.
The film, which was released in India last Friday, stars the veteran actor Sanjay Dutt and female co-star Bipasha Basu.
"Ban on an honest film?? What happened to the freedom of expression??" Basu wrote on the micro-blogging website Twitter late on Wednesday.
"Lamhaa" had already fallen foul of India’s censors and Kashmiris themselves, as resentment of Indian occupation runs high in the Himalayan region.
The Indian censor board took issue with promotional trailers for the thriller and reportedly objected to its description of Kashmir as "the most dangerous place in the world", forcing Dholakia to make cuts.
Locals were also reported to have forced the film crew to re-shoot a scene, angered at its depiction of the region.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2010
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New Delhi/Dubai, Jul 15 (PTI) Filmmaker Rahul Dholakia’s forthcoming movie ‘Lamhaa’ which promises to tell the "untold story" of Kashmir faces a ban in the Gulf countries, with the exception of Oman, which will screen the film.
The film starring Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt, Anupam Kher and Kunal Kapoor was banned because the censors in UAE reportedly found the content "highly objectionable" and the subject "controversial".
But ‘Lamhaa’ has received the thumbs up from Oman authorities, said Hanif Khatri, the general manager of Al Mansoor Video, which is distributing the film across the Gulf region.
"The screening of Lamhaa will go as per schedule in Oman, which is good news for us," Khatri told PTI.
The ban has not gone down well with the film’s director who has labelled the censorship "undemocratic".