Just when Mahira’s new upcoming movie was all set to hit the cinemas, Islamabad censor board has put a ban on it reportedly due to scenes of rape a violence. The movie revolves around the story of a rape survivor and indeed raises discussion a very important yet controversial topic.
The content, as guessed by the trailer, seems pretty well thought and well put together. The movie is a successor of Shoaib Mansoor’s previous ‘Khuda K Liye’ and ‘Bol’, both of which were also addressing certain social issues of Pakistan.
The ban caused an outrage across social media, especially stirring a heated debate that why movies with item songs and actually vulgar content have never been banned but Verna, that speaks about an issue that concerns common people, is declared inappropriate by the board.
People have shown immense disappointment and shock over the decision. Mahira, speaking to Dunya News, expressed similar sentiments. She said that
“We have failed to understand what the censor board has found objectionable in Verna,”.
Mahira’s co-star Haroon Shahid also expressed his views on Twitter.
Apart from the movie crew, certain well-known personalities also reacted to the news and declared it unjustified. Deepika Padukone also spoke out saying that people underestimate the power of cinema and it’s ‘sad’ how a small number of people can choose whether to ban or allow the film.
The general public, journalists and prominent names inside Pakistan also reacted to the ban on undoubtedly the most anticipated film of the year. Here is what they had to say:
The #vernaBan is in fact a ban on awareness. It is the promotion of ignorance. It is also a ban on the evolution of women. In the age of social media? It won't work bcoz it is unstoppable.
— Tehmina Durrani (@TehminaDurrani) November 14, 2017
Strongly condemn this. Cinema is not just for showing fluff. Let meaningful films be seen. #shoaibmansoor sb’s films have strong influence. Influence that could help change our country in a positive way. #VernaBan https://t.co/JssiVkwUUG
— Sana Bucha (@sanabucha) November 14, 2017
— Muhammad Murad (@MuradKanrani) November 14, 2017
— Aisha (@Ayisha_) November 14, 2017
— Gulalai_Ismail (@Gulalai_Ismail) November 14, 2017
Of all the things going on in this Godforsaken country #Verna's ban is the most appalling – apparently raising awareness about anything is controversial in this country. I don't feel like I can even breathe in this country now! #VernaBan #UnBanVerna #WeSupportVerna
— Khadija (@KhadijaAlii) November 14, 2017
Can u promote gender equity w/out raising awareness on issues that hold women back? Rape & violence agnst women is a sad reality. #VernaBan
— Roshaneh Zafar (@RoshanehZafar) November 15, 2017
CENSORING THE NATION, My column
Why is the Censor board using a law of the Zia era to squash filmmakers?
— Fifi Haroon (@fifiharoon) November 15, 2017
— Farheen Jarral (@farheen_jarral) November 14, 2017
The ban still isn’t a nationwide ban. The director has appealed the censor board for the urgent relief of the movie. The decision is yet awaited that will decide the final fate of Verna.
Do you think the ban is justified? Let us know in the comments section below.