Kathmandu, June 19 (PTI): All Hindi films, including “Adipurush”, were banned in the Nepal capital Kathmandu and the tourist town of Pokhara on Monday following a controversy over its dialogues, including the mention of Sita as “India’s daughter”.
Police personnel were deployed across 17 halls in Kathmandu to ensure that no Hindi film is screened. At the centre of the row is “Adipurush”, a retelling of the Ramayana directed by Om Raut and headlined by Prabhas and Kriti Sanon.
Kathmandu Mayor Balendra Shah on Sunday said no Hindi film will be allowed to run in Kathmandu Metropolitan City until the dialogue “Janaki is a daughter of India” in “Adipurush” is removed not just in Nepal but also in India Sita, also referred to as Janaki, is believed by many to have been born in Janakpur in southeast Nepal.
Pokhara was quick to follow suit. Pokhara Metropolis Mayor Dhanaraj Acharya said “Adipurush” will be barred from screening from Monday onwards.
According to Kathmandu mayor, screening “Adipurush” without getting one of its dialogues removed will cause “irreparable damage”.
“Screening of all the Hindi films will be barred within Kathmandu Metropolitan City from Monday, June 19, as the objectionable words in the dialogue of the film ‘Adipurush’ has not yet been removed,” he said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“We have already issued notice three days ago to remove the objectionable portion of the dialogue that ‘Sita is India’s daughter’ from the movie within three days,” he added.
Shah’s post sent Nepali social media into a frenzy, with many users welcoming the mayor’s decision and others denouncing it.
As controversy spiralled, “Adipurush” dialogue writer Manoj Muntashir Shukla on Sunday said the makers of the movie had decided to “revise some of the dialogues” after the film was criticised heavily for its pedestrian language.
Shukla, who has penned the Hindi dialogues and songs of the multilingual saga, said the amended lines will be added to the film by this week.
Raju Pandey, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Police chief, said the police inspected the cinema halls within the city on Sunday in accordance with the mayor’s instructions.
“We got a positive response during the inspection on Sunday and we are now monitoring all the cinema halls from Monday morning,” Pandey said.
“While monitoring QFX Hall at Civil Mahal in Kathmandu… they said they will show Nepali and English movies instead of Hindi ones. We will not allow screening of Hindi movies until the KMC authority gives permission,” he added.
“No one is greater than the nation, so all the parties must support the move when our national interest and cultural identity is in question,” remarked Sunil K C, lawmaker of Bagmati Province and youth leader of Rastriya Prajatantra Party.
A security guard at Q’s Cinema situated at the Rising Mall in Kamaladi Kathmandu said the theatre stopped screening “Adipurush” after showing the movie once on Friday evening. “Now, we are screening Nepali film ‘Neer Phool’ from Monday,” he informed.
Produced by T-Series, Retrophiles, and UV Creations, the film also stars Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh (Ravana), Sunny Singh as Shesh (Lakshman) and Devdutta Nage as Bajrang (Hanuman).