Tere Bin Laden hangs between desire and the undesirable
By Jamal Shahid
ISLAMABAD: An appellate board too, like the film censor board, has rejected the controversial Indian film Tere Bin Laden as “disagreeable”, but the doors on allowing its screening in Pakistan have not been all shut.
Minister for Culture Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani said on Friday that the report prepared by the appellate board comprising senior officials “does not have a single positive angle about the Indian film”.
“At the same time,” he added, “it is our priority to encourage our cinema going culture and we are looking into options again. Maybe we can edit it carefully for exhibition in the country.”
Earlier, the importers of foreign films had appealed to the ministry, asking the appellate board to view and allow the “95-minute peace tape” before its worldwide launch on July 16.
“We are still waiting for the ministry to respond.
It has been delayed already,” said Nadeem H. Mandviwalla, who imported the Indian film.
Tere Bin Laden was rejected by the Central Board of Film Censors and the full board. All members had unanimously found the film unsuitable for exhibition in Pakistan.“Its tone and tenor are offensive and portray the Pakistani society as an embodiment of retrogression where there is not an iota of enlightenment,” said a senior official of the ministry.
He said the members were of the view that it contained vulgar/objectionable dialogues as well as abusive and derogatory remarks, which would definitely invite criticism from the civil society and the media alike.
According to the censor board, the script of the film depicted a Pakistani journalist (played by Ali Zafar) who resorted to extreme journalistic dishonesty to make quick buck.
In his evil pursuit, he found a poultry farm owner of Rahim Yar Khan, who resembled Osama Bin Laden and Ali Zafar conceived his improvisation to earn money by selling it to a TV channel.
“This aspect of the film will be bitterly resented by the media in the country which is already casting aspersions on the government,” said an official of the censor board.
Another senior official of the ministry of culture who sits on the censor board thinks the film projects Pakistan as the centre of terrorism, where all sorts of cheating happens at every level.
“Its impact is surely going to hurt Pakistan’s strategic interests. US bashing is on the extreme, while Americans are a coalition partner in the war on terror and have bailed out Pakistan on many occasions.
The abusive language used against America in the film is in bad taste and cannot be justified even under the worst case scenario,” he said.
He said the film also ridicules the security apparatus of Pakistan and the US by showing them contemplating a major military and surveillance operation, mistaking the fake video to be true.
While most board members adjudged the film not suitable for exhibition in Pakistan, a few believed that the film should have been allowed viewing.
“It would have died its own death. But we have given a cheap Indian film too much importance.”