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8 Feb

The Raees ban should go down in the annals of lunacy

“Hello, Pakistan? Aa raha hoon mein.” Um, apparently not.

With one final blow, all rumours of Mahira and Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees releasing in Pakistan have gone down the drain. Although film distributors kept insisting the film will see its final release in the country past weekend, it ended up just giving a victory to hate than anything else.

Blocked by the censor board yesterday, sources claim that Mahira Khan’s Bollywood debut will not be released in Pakistan due to certain aspects of the film, which act as ‘opposing role-models to the Muslim community and show them as bootleggers’.

With the film being yet another narrative that won’t see the light of day in Pakistan, it just becomes yet another example of the censor board’s futile attempt at blocking films. Inside sources suggest the censor board had approved it but bigger forces were at play here; we guess we’ll never know and even if we know we’ll never be able to say. One also wonders if this was just another tit-for-tat strategy happening or it served any purpose to block cultural exchanges. The film would inevitably had done tremendous business at the box office.

The entire Raees debacle, it’s release and ultimate ban, will end up in the annals of loony decisions made in Pakistan.


Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Contributing Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.