13/07/2015 12:52 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Indian Tricolour Shown In 'ABCD 2' Climax Was Censored By Islamabad's Censor Board

UTV Motion Pictures/YouTube

While Indian filmmakers and moviegoers grapple with their own issues with our Pahlaj-Nihalani-led Censor Board, here's a piece of news from Pakistan to show that this problem is definitely not unique to us.

A Mumbai Mirror report says that censors in the nation's capital Islamabad had issues with the Indian tricolour being displayed in ABCD 2, the recently-released dance film starring Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. The Hindi film, which was released in Pakistan on June 19, has not fared well in Pakistan despite raking in more than Rs 100 crore at the Indian box office.

According to the report, the Central Board Of Film Censors (their CBFC; in India, the 'C' stands for 'Certification') in Islamabad had, before the film's release, asked for two deletions: "passionate lip kissing shots" from one of the songs; and "Indian flags". The latter has a significant impact on the narrative of the film as the tricolour is displayed prominently in many parts of the film, particularly its climatic song 'Vande Mataram' (watch it above). This decision has resulted in the Centaurus Cineplex, owned by Pakistan's biggest exhibitors Mandviwalla Entertainment (ME) and reportedly the "only cineplex in Islamabad", taking the decision to not screen the film at their theatre.

According to the 18th amendment passed in 2011, the duty of film censorship in Pakistan is carried out by different bodies in different provinces. As a result of this, censorship decisions can often vary radically across the country, as is evident in this article in The Express Tribune that speaks about how Aamir Khan starrer PK was censored in a harsher manner by Islamabad's CBFC than by the relatively lenient Sindh Board Of Film Certification (SBFC; note how the 'C' here does not stand for 'Censors'), based in Karachi.

Interestingly, ABCD 2 was also cleared without any cuts by other censorship bodies in Pakistan, such as the SBFC as well as the Punjab Board Of Film Certification (PBFC).

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