Kathmandu, June 18 : After being embroiled in controversy in India, the South Indian film ‘Adipurush’, which was also controversial in Nepal, will not be showcased in Kathmandu Metropolitan City from Monday. The Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Balendra Shah, has ordered the ban on the screening of all Indian films in Kathmandu until the controversial portion of the film is removed by the Indian filmmakers.
The decision to halt the film’s screening was made by the Metropolitan Police after their attempts to stop the film’s exhibition failed. The Cinema Exhibitors Association had announced the decision to halt the film’s screening, stating that they would not screen any films until further notice due to their responsibility for public safety. This information was shared by Bhashkar Dhungana, the vice-president of the Film Association.
On Sunday afternoon, Mayor Shah informed the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology that Hindi films would be prohibited from screening in the metropolitan area starting from Monday. In the letter, he mentioned, “To remove the dialogue that claims Janaki is an Indian daughter from the original controversial part of the film three days ago, it is necessary to take immediate action to establish misleading facts,”
Previously, the Censor Board had not allowed the film to be screened in Nepal until the controversial dialogue was removed. Last Friday, the Nepali distributor of the film obtained permission to remove the controversial dialogue and conduct a screening. However, Mayor Shah expressed concerns not only in Nepal but also in India, stating that the screening of Hindi films would be banned in the city, which led to a controversy surrounding the Adipurush film.
Mayor Shah had drawn attention to the cultural encroachment on Nepal and had sent letters to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology on Friday. In the letter, he mentioned, “If the display of the film against national interest is banned only within the Kathmandu Metropolitan City area, but the same film is allowed to be screened in other regions and abroad, it will establish misleading facts, so it is necessary to take diplomatic initiatives,”
The government did not provide any response to the letter sent by the mayor. The screening of the film continued as the censor board had granted permission. However, on Sunday, Mayor Shah made the decision to completely ban the film starting from Monday in all theaters of Kathmandu. In some theaters, the Metropolitan Police had sent warnings to the filmmakers, cautioning them to stop the film’s screening themselves. After that, the directors of the theaters decided not to show the film.
“It is mentioned that Manoj Rathi, the Nepali distributor of Adipurush, is preparing to remove the controversial dialogue even from the film that will be shown in India. We have been granted permission to screen the film by the government. There is no censor certificate for the film in the metropolis. It seems that banning the film entirely is within the jurisdiction of the metropolis. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is responsible for banning the film after censor clearance,” said Rathi, adding that even India has removed the dialogue from the controversial film. We are sending a letter about it. Even though the dialogue in the film is not that significant, it has been removed…”