Kathmandu Bans Screening Indian Movies In Nepal Following Adipurush Dialogue Row

Kathmandu Mayor Balendra Shah on Thursday gave a three-day ultimatum to the filmmakers of the Telugu movie, Adipurush, to remove a dialogue that claimed 'Janaki is a daughter of India'. 

A PVR Cinemas employee sprays disinfectants on the seats of a cinema hall in New Delhi.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Balendra Shah on Sunday announced a ban on Indian movies from their theatres following the Adipurush row. After the enforcement of the ban, theatres in Nepal's capital have taken off Hindi and Bollywood movies and replaced them with Hollywood and Nepali films. 

The row was triggered after Shah, on Thursday, gave a three-day ultimatum to the filmmakers of the Telugu movie to remove a dialogue that claimed 'Janaki is a daughter of India'.  However, in a recent announcement Shah announced that starting Monday, the movie will be banned within and outside the capital citing that "it will establish a misleading fact".

On Sunday, Shah took to Facebook and wrote, "Indian film Adipurush had dialogue claiming Janaki was India’s daughter which is objectionable and we had given three days’ ultimatum to correct it. There is no doubt that it is the first duty of every government, government agency, non-governmental sector and Nepali citizen to protect the national interest by keeping Nepal’s freedom, independence and self-respect intact."

The Mayor further stated, “If the film is shown as it is, it seems that Nepal’s nationality, cultural unity and national identity will be severely damaged and irreparable damage will be done. Due to cultural encroachment on Nepal from that movie, this metropolitan city has attracted serious attention."

Previously, Shah claimed that until the dialogue is removed from the South Indian film in India and Nepal, no Hindi movies would be allowed to run in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. 

As per the mayor’s secretariat, the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police was deployed on Sunday evening and relayed the message to ban the screening of the Indian cinemas from Monday morning. The Kathmandu Metropolitan has 17 film halls, as per the record of the metropolis, according to a report by ANI.

Soon after the announcement of the ban on screening in Kathmandu, “T-Series” the production company of Adipurush has written to Nepali Mayor stating it was “never intentional or deliberate to cause any disharmony for anyone.”

The company also claimed that it wanted to show respect towards women quoting the dialogue which was objected to by the mayor in particular. “We request you to view the film in its artistic form and support the intention of reaching out to a larger audience to create interest in our history,” the letter signed by Radhika Das from the Super Cassette Industries Private Ltd also known as T-Series concludes.

Adipurush, which was globally released on Friday, was delayed with its screening in Nepal after the country's censor objected to its aforementioned dialogue. However, the film got permission to be screened after the dialogue was silenced but due to delayed circulation and fear of vandalism, the screening did not go as planned. 

​​​​​​​The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor earlier on Friday has written to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology requesting the latter to stop screening Indian movies in Nepal unless an objectionable dialogue from a recently-released movie is omitted.

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