"Mulk" movie has been banned in Pakistan, according to Bollywood film's makers who are upset over the "prejudiced verdict". Director Anubhav Sinha has urged viewers in Pakistan to "watch the film illegally, if you must".
According to a statement issued on behalf of the makers on Thursday, the Federal Censor Board of Pakistan has banned the film, a courtroom drama around restoring the honour of a Muslim family accused of treason.
Danyal Gilani, Chairman, Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors ( CBFC), told IANS via the social media: "Members of the CBFC unanimously decided not to approve the trailer of 'Mulk' as its contents flout the Censorship of Film Code, 1980."
"Mulk" co-producer and presenter Deepak Mukut of Soham Rockstar Entertainment is disheartened.
"We are disturbed by this prejudiced verdict and it's such an irony because our film talks about this very prejudice. We urge the Pakistani Censor Board to reconsider their decision.
"They will realise how essential it is to the well-being of the human race across the world."
Sinha has penned a "letter to Pakistan", through which he raises a question about why the censors in Pakistan are not letting the citizens watch a film "that talks about co-existence".
Addressed to "Dear citizens of Pakistan" in what he calls a "risk of being called an anti-national by some losers back home", Sinha's letter reaches out to film lovers across the border as they will not be able to see the film legally.
"Why is it that they do not want you to see the film that talks about co-existence. I know, sooner or later, you will have access to the film. Please do watch it and give me your opinion why did the Pakistan censor board ban the film.
"I really wanted you all to see this film legally, but do watch it illegally, if you must, though our digital team at home is working hard to stop all piracy," wrote Sinha, who also pointed out how based on the trailer, some people in India thought it was pro-Muslim and people in Pakistan felt it stereotyped Muslims.
Sinha has maintained the film is about "love that all of us individuals should have".
"You have Hindus as a minority in your country and we have Muslims as a minority in ours. We all must work towards co-existing in peace and harmony."
A Benaras Media Works production, "Mulk" is produced by Mukut and Sinha. The film features Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Prateik Babbar, Rajat Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana, Manoj Pahwa and Neena Gupta.
Bollywood's other releases for Friday -- "Karwaan" and "Fanney Khan" -- have been cleared for release in Pakistan.
Satish Anand, head honcho of Eveready Group of Companies, which is releasing both movies in Pakistan, said word-of-mouth publicity could work for both movies if the viewers approve the content.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)