We discuss censorship in Pakistan
Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is working on a project that will bring Lahore’s red light area Heera Mandi on an online platform, Indian media reported early this month.
Alia Bhatt has been finalised, while other A-list actresses such as Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit, Deepika Padukone and Vidya Balan are being considered.
But this has made Pakistani actor Mansha Pasha unhappy. “India is making a film on Lahore and the infamous Heera Mandi of yesteryears,” the Laal Kabootar actress tweeted on January 10. “Because we live in a country where fictional narrative is often censored and everyone keeps talking about what is or isn’t morally acceptable fiction.”
She said that because the Pakistani cinema is unable to take up stories from our own society due to the state’s censorship policies, others take advantage and “sell” our stories to the world.
“Others make most of the opportunity taking up stories native to our country, brand them and sell them to the rest of the world,” said Pasha.
She said it is sad that stories from Pakistan will be “told from someone else’s mouth” if the censorship continues.
“In the end, what will be left will be our stories told from someone else’s mouth.
We discuss why making films on such topics is difficult in Pakistan.