Despite cinema owners’ optimism that Bollywood’s most talked-about new release Delhi Belly would return to their theatres overcoming a censor bar, the Aamir Khan production remained quarantined even on Tuesday.
It was the second day that the boisterous film peppered with profanities remained shelved after Nepal’s Film Censor Board objected to the cuss words and a bordello scene featuring Imran Khan.
While the brothel scene was destined for the scissors, the censors however said the swear words needed to be muted only, there was no need to cut out entire scenes.
Though the hall owners had exuded confidence that the print format of the film at least would be ready for screening on Tuesday with the desired changes, the formalities had still not been completed.
Police on Sunday raided the Gopikrishna multiplex in Kathmandu, whose owner Uddhav Poudel is the distributor of the film in Nepal. The district administration authorised the raid after the Film Censor Board complained that the Abhinay Deo-directed film was full of obscene dialogues and the distributor had failed to heed its directive that the objectionable bits be removed before screening it in Nepal’s theatres.
The censors’ chop comes two years after Nepal banned the Akshay Kumar-starrer Bollywood kungfu comedy "Chandni Chowk to China" after an erroneous claim in it that the Buddha was born in India.
The founder of Buddhism was born in southern Nepal and the narrative in the film caused public protests in Nepal, making the then Maoist government decide to ban it.
In 2007, Ram Gopal Verma’s much-hyped remake of the Bollywood classic Sholay, called Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag, also came under censors’ fire, especially for a sizzling dance by Bollywood star Urmila Matondkar, which was labelled vulgar.
Under a series of communist governments, moral policing has increased in Nepal with regular arrests of card players and alleged sex workers.
While theatres lose money over the controversy, pirated tapes of "Delhi Belly" are expected to make a killing in Nepal’s open markets, just as the ban on "Chandni CHowk to China" fuelled a sale of pirated videos.(IANS)