Kathmandu: Balendra Shah, the Mayor of Kathmandu, has implemented a ban on Indian films in the capital city following a controversy sparked by the dialogue in the movie ‘Adipurush.’ The ban entails the removal of Hindi or Bollywood films from the screening schedules of film halls in Kathmandu, which will be replaced with Hollywood and Nepali movies.
Mayor Shah took to Facebook on Sunday evening to make the announcement and revealed that the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police had been deployed to enforce the ban on screening all Indian films. In his post, the mayor expressed concern over a dialogue in the Indian film ‘Adipurush’ that referred to Janaki (Sita), the wife of Lord Rama, as India’s daughter, deeming it objectionable. The mayor had given a three-day ultimatum to rectify the dialogue but received no response. He emphasised the responsibility of the government, governmental agencies, non-governmental sectors, and Nepali citizens to safeguard the nation’s interests, freedom, independence, and self-respect.
The mayor emphasized the widespread belief in Nepal, Sita is considered the country’s daughter and insisted that the producers of the film make the necessary changes to the dialogue within a three-day period in order to proceed with the planned release.
Mayor Balendra Shah argued that the screening of Indian films would jeopardise national identity, nationality, and cultural unity, asserting that the movie ‘Adipurush’ was contrary to the national interest. Consequently, he announced a ban on the screening of all Indian cinemas in Kathmandu, effective Monday morning.
According to the mayor’s secretariat, the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police was deployed on Sunday evening to communicate and enforce the ban, which impacted the 17 film halls within the metropolis.
Following the ban announcement in Kathmandu, the production company ‘T-Series,’ responsible for ‘Adipurush,’ reached out to the Nepali Mayor, clarifying that their intention was never to cause disharmony. They stated that the dialogue in question was aimed at portraying respect for women, a sentiment that the mayor found objectionable.
On Sunday, Manoj Muntashir Shukla, the dialogue writer for ‘Adipurush,’ announced that the film’s creators have chosen to “modify certain dialogues” in response to severe criticism regarding the pedestrian language used in the mythological epic.
Overall, the ban on Indian film screenings in Kathmandu has been put in place due to the controversy surrounding the dialogue in ‘Adipurush,’ which the mayor considers detrimental to Nepal’s national interest and cultural integrity.
Consequently, Nepal’s Pokhara also bans all Indian films because of the Adipurush dialogue controversy.